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Full text of "Kandinsky"

KANDINSKY 






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VASILY KANDINSKY 
(1866-1944) 

A selection from The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 
and The Hilla von Rebay Foundation 



Vfenues: 

Art Gallery of New South Wales 
14 May to 13 June, 1982. 

Queensland Art Gallery 
21 June to 8 August, 1982. 

Art Gallery of South Australia 
26 August to 26 September, 1982. 

Art Gallery of Western Australia 
8 October to 7 November, 1982. 

National Gallery of Victoria 

12 November to 12 December, 1982. 



Copyright: ^International Cultural Corporation 
of Australia Limited. 

ISBN 9594122 3 9 

Printed at Wilke and Company Limited, 37-49 Browns Road, Clayton, Victoria. 

Front Cover: Light Picture. December 1913. 

Oil on canvas, 30 5 / 8 " x 39 T /2 "in. (77.8 x 100.2cm) 
Collection: The Solomon R. 
Guggenheim Museum, New York. 



KANDINSKY 



VASILYKANDINSKY 
(1866-1944) 

A selection from The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 
and The Hilla von Rebay Foundation 



Sponsored by the 

Peter Stuyvesant Cultural Foundation 

and the 

Visual Arts Board of the Australia Council 



Arranged by the International Cultural Corporation of Australia Limited 

in conjunction with the 
Art Gallery of New South Wales. 

Indemnified by the Commonwealth of Australia 
through the Department of Home Affairs and Environment. 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 
H in 2012 with funding from 

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Library and Archives 



http://www.archive.org/details/kandinskyOOreb 






Contents 



Peter Stuyvesant Cultural Foundation 6 

Preface and Acknowledgements 7 

Introduction 8 

Catalogue entries 16 

Colour plates 54 

Chronology 114 

Bibliography 118 



The Peter Stuyvesant Cultural Foundation 



The Peter Stuyvesant Cultural Foundation, formerly 
the Peter Stuyvesant Trust for the Development of the 
Arts, was inaugurated in 1 963. Initially it was to bring 
to Australia the Peter Stuyvesant Collection, ART IN 
INDUSTRY, a group of modern abstract paintings 
which hung in a modern cigarette factory near 
Amsterdam, having been organised under the aus- 
pices of the European Foundation for Culture and the 
Netherlands Foundation of Art. 
It was the focal point of the 1 964 Adelaide Festival of 
Arts, after which it toured all Australian States and the 
A.C.T. The paintings earned universal praise from the 
national press, radio and television; and, in addition 
to the cover in news sessions, the ABC's channels 
devoted 27 minutes to the collection - the first of 
several such programs. 

The aim of the Peter Stuyvesant Cultural Foundation 
is to develop the visual arts and culture in Australia 
True to the international flavour of its name, the 
Foundation is bringing to the capitals and the 
provincial cities of the Commonwealth, the universi- 
ties and Colleges of Advanced Education, a variety of 
art so that the average Australian may see, enjoy and 
study the best the world has to offer. 
In March 1966, for instance, the Foundation was 
associated with the Australian Broadcasting Commis- 
sion and the British Council in bringing to Australia 
the London Symphony Orchestra, whose then chair- 
man, Mr. Barry Tuckwell, OBE, is an Australian. The 
London Symphony Orchestra earned the warm praise 
of both critics and public alike in its seasons in 
Adelaide (again during the Festival of Arts), Sydney, 
Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane, before continuing its 
world tour via the U.S.A. 

The Foundation is immensely proud to be associated 
with the International Cultural Corporation of Austra- 
lia Limited and the art galleries of New South Wales, 
Queensland, Victoria, South Australia, Western Aus- 
tralia, in this outstanding exhibition of Kandinsky's 
works and will continue to bring to the Australian 
public recognised and outstanding art in its various 
forms which the people would not otherwise be able 
to enjoy. 



Preface and Acknowledgements 



Vasily Kandinsky is a central figure in the develop- 
ment of twentieth-century art. More than any other 
painter, with the possible exception of Piet Mondrian, 
he is identified with the transition from representa- 
tional to abstract art. Kandinsky, who was born in 
Russia in 1866, did not begin his career as a painter 
until the first decade of our own century. He made his 
most original and important contributions to modern 
painting and aesthetic ideas in Munich between 1908 
and 1914. After his return to Russia upon the outbreak 
of World War I, he worked for the revolutionary 
government, teaching and organising cultural institu- 
tions based upon modern ideas. When the Soviet 
government became hostile to avant-garde art, Kan- 
dinsky left his homeland once more for Germany and 
took a teaching position at the Weimar Bauhaus. He 
was forced to leave Germany again in 1933, when the 
Nazis closed the Bauhaus. This time the artist found 
refuge in Paris, where he spent the last eleven fruitful 
years of a creative and influential life. 
The sequential progression of Kandinsky's revolution- 
ary oeuvre is exceptionally clear and illuminating. 
His early work is representational and reveals its 
sources in Post-Impressionist modes. Gradually and 
to a certain degree paralleling the innovations of the 
contemporary French Fauves, Kandinsky attenuated 
the forms in his paintings and prints for decorative 
and expressive purposes. These forms, still rooted in 
the art of the jugendstil movement and popular 
paintings on glass, ultimately were reduced almost to 
imperceptibility in their representational function in 
the most radical departure in the history of twentieth- 
century art. Kandinsky proclaimed the autonomy of 
form and colour from recognizable subject matter in 
his art and in his writings early in the second decade 
of our era, when others like Mondrian, Malevich, 
Kupka and Delaunay were moving towards similar 
conclusions. Thus, Kandinsky was not alone in 
achieving this fundamental revision in the painting of 
his time, but the inventiveness and originality, the 
authority and strength of his work made him a leader 
in the development of a new style. The same 
intellectual integrity and courage that assured this 
position of leadership before World War I later 
enabled him to invent new modes and exert a 
decisive influence during his years at the Bauhaus. 
During that period the experessiveness of the earlier 
work gave way to an emphasis upon geometric 
structure, as painterly intuition was controlled by 
carefully established, rigorous systems. The emo- 
tional detachment and the freedom from dogmatic 



attitudes which mark the works of the last years in 
Paris make these paintings and watercolours particu- 
larly moving. The paintings and watercolours of these 
late years are profound insights gained in a wise and 
measured life. 

Kandinsky's name has been closely associated with 
the Guggenheim since the Museum's formative stage 
in the late 1930s under the guidance of Hilla Rebay, 
Solomon R. Guggenheim, the Museum's founder and 
initial benefactor, acquired many watercolours and 
oils by Kandinsky, which, together with works by 
other modern pioneers, he gave to the Foundation he 
established in 1937. The collection grew as Miss 
Rebay, in her position of Director of the Museum 
of Non-Objective Painting (as the Guggenheim 
Museum was then called), continued to enrich the 
institution's already formidable Kandinsky holdings. 
More recently the collection was refined through 
sales as well as acquisitions, particularly in the area of 
graphics. Since 1970 the important collection of The 
Hilla von Rebay Foundation has remained on deposit 
at the Museum, enhancing the Guggenheim's own 
concentrations of Kandinsky's work. Thanks to The 
Hilla von Rebay Foundation collection and the 
essential co-operation of its trustees, we are able to 
present the comprehensive range of the artist's work. 
We are extremely pleased to be able to share with 
Australian State Galleries some of these treasures in 
an exhibition which represents Kandinsky's develop- 
ment from 1903 to 1943. Our gratitude must here be 
expressed to Vivian Endicott Barnett, Research Cura- 
tor at the Guggenheim Museum, who organised and 
selected the exhibition for the International Cultural 
Corporation of Australia Limited which arranged its 
circulation. Mrs. Barnett's sensitivity to Kandinsky's 
work is apparent in the choices she has made as well 
as in the cogent essay she has contributed to the 
catalogue. Louise Averill Svendsen, Senior Curator of 
the Guggenheim Museum, was extremely helpful, 
sharing her knowledge of the history of the Rebay 
collection and the Museum's Kandinsky holdings. We 
are also indebted to Susan Alyson Stein who assisted 
Mrs. Barnett in her research and wrote the informative 
texts which accompany the catalogue illustrations, 
and to the Guggenheim's Editor, Carol Fuerstein, for 
her careful editing of the publication. Finally, our very 
special thanks are due to the Australian sponsor, the 
Peter Stuyvesant Cultural Foundation, which gener- 
ously supported the exhibition. 

Thomas M. Messer, Director 
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation 



Introduction 



During the first decades of the twentieth century, the 
direction of painting moved irrevocably toward 
abstraction. The sources of such essential shifts in the 
history of art as the transition from representational to 
abstract art can be traced to the extraordinary 
originality and determination of certain individuals. 
Vasily Kandinsky, a towering artistic presence 
throughout the first half of this century was one of 
these individuals. Like Picasso, Braque, Mondrian, 
Malevich, Kupka and Delaunay, he was an innovator. 
Kandinsky's work spanned more than four decades, 
from about 1897 to 1944. The scope of his creative 
production extended from prints, drawings, water- 
colours and paintings to poetry, stage compositions 
and theoretical writings. Moreover, he played an 
active role as a teacherand as an organiser of exhibi- 
tions, publications and artists' associations. 
Vasily Kandinsky was born in Moscow in 1866. 
When he decided to pursue a career in art in 1896, 
Kandinsky was almost thirty years old and had 
already studied economics, ethnography and law (in 
which he obtained a degree). Like many other 
Russian artists, Kandinsky chose to study painting in 
Munich rather than in Paris, a city he had visited 
twice, or somewhere in Russia. As a well-educated, 
upper-class Russian, he was, of course, familiar with 
French and German culture. From 1896 until 1914 
Kandinsky lived outside Russia yet maintained close 
ties with his homeland through correspondence and 
periodic trips and by exhibiting his work there. He 
spent most of the period from 1914 to 1921 in Russia, 
residing principally in Moscow. As a result of world 
political events and because of his own heritage and 
personality, Kandinsky became an international figure 
who travelled widely and took up residence in many 
cities and towns. During his life Kandinsky was 
successively a citizen of Russia, Germany and France. 
Likewise, he assimilated diverse spiritual, intellectual 
and cultural currents that transcend national distinc- 
tions. 

Kandinsky's oeuvre can conveniently be divided into 
four periods without serious oversimplification: the 
Munich years, 1896-1914; the Russian interlude, 
1914-1921; the Bauhaus period, 1922-1933; and, 
finally, the Paris years, 1934-1944. In Munich Kan- 
dinsky studied with Anton Azbe from 1897 to 1899 
and, subsequently, with Franz von Stuck. His early 
sketches and drawings consisted of figure studies, 
designs for the decorative arts, scenes of knights and 
riders, romantic fairy-tale subjects and other rather 
fanciful reminiscences of Russia. After 1902 his 



graphic production - primarily colour woodcuts - 
acquired both a technical proficiency and a stylistic 
cohesiveness. At the turn of the century, Munich was 
the centre of jugendstil, a German variant of the 
pervasive Art Nouveau style. Thus, Kandinsky's prints 
of this period derive not only from the work of Russian 
artists and book designers but also depend upon 
Jugendstil influence. Both "Lady with Fan" and 
"Singer" (cat. nos. 1 and 2) demonstrate an essential 
reliance upon line and flatness as design elements. 
Emphasis upon linearity and the vital, expressive 
function of line persists throughout Kandinsky's work. 
Between 1903 to 1909 Kandinsky travelled exten- 
sively in Germany, Italy, France, The Netherlands and 
Switzerland as well as Tunisia. Small oil studies such 
as "Amsterdam - View from the Window" (cat. no. 3) 
not only record what the artist saw on his journeys but 
also how he reacted to his new surroundings. Painted 
from nature, often with the palette knife, the oil 
studies are characterized by light, high-keyed colours 
which reflect an awareness of Impressionism and 
Post-Impressionism. Kandinsky's travels included a 
year's sojourn in Paris from June 1906 until June 1907, 
a time when paintings by Gauguin, van Gogh, the 
Nabis, Matisse and other Fauves were exhibited there. 
Consequently, in Kandinsky's pictures, colour as- 
sumed a new brilliance and vibrancy and was no 
longer restricted by descriptive function. 
After 1908 Kandinsky and Gabriele Munter, formerly 
his student, and now his colleague and devoted 
companion, divided their time between Munich and 
Murnau, a Bavarian village where they were often 
joined by the Russian artists Alexej Jawlensky and 
Marianne von Werefkin. The landscape of southern 
Germany dominated Kandinsky's paintings and spe- 
cific motifs such as the landscape with tower recur in 
his work from this time (cat. no. 4). He did not focus 
on specific objects within the environment but 
emphasized a total synthesis of colour, line and form. 
Strident hues of red and green, intense violet and 
bright yellow create dissonant and complex har- 
monies. Kandinsky's landscapes are never static but 
seem set in motion: they possess a non-naturalistic, 
non-material energy. The painting "Blue Mountain" 
of 1908-9, in the Guggenheim Museum collection 
(fig. 1), exemplifies Kandinsky's assimilation of Rus- 
sian, German and French art. It resembles a stained- 
glass window or a tapestry in the depth and 
resplendent richness of its colours. Space has been 
compressed into several distinctly planar zones 
which reinforce the upward thrust of the composi- 




Blue Mountain. 1908-9 

Oil on canvas, 41 Va x 38 in. (106 x 96.6cm) 
Collection The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 
New York 



tion. Increasingly, Kandinsky attenuated the forms in 
his paintings so that they ultimately lost their identity 
as representational images. Pictorial elements were 
reduced to dark lines and flat, coloured shapes. 
Kandinsky's shift away from landscape painting 
toward abstraction was paralleled by a change in the 
character of his titles. In 1909 he painted his first 
"Improvisation", the following year the first "Compos- 
tion" and in 1911 the "Impressions." These titles, to 
which numbers were assigned, were impersonal, 
non-specific, abstract categories derived from musi- 
cal terminology. In his book Cher das Ceistige in der 
Kunst(Concerningthe Spiritual in Art), which appeared 
at the end of 1911, Kandinsky defined each category: 
for example, "Improvisations" are "largely uncon- 
scious, spontaneous expression of inner character, 
non-material nature" and "Impressions" are "direct 
impression of nature, expressed in purely pictorial 
form". He considered his "Compositions" to be the 
most important of these works and thus described 
them as consciously created expressions of "a slowly 
formed inner feeling, tested and worked over repeat- 
edly and almost pedantically". Kandinsky formulated 
Concerning the Spiritual in Art during the first decade 
of the century and completed the manuscript in 1910. 
It presented the artist's thoughtful, intellectual deliber- 
ations on the outer world and the inner soul and 
expounded on the spiritual foundations of art and the 
nature of artistic creation. Kandinsky analyzed col- 
ours and forms, the role of the object in art and the 
question of abstraction. He was still unwilling to 
abandon objects altogether because of his belief in 
the expressive function of art as communication. Like 
the Symbol ists he emphasized the effect of colour and 
discussed the associative properties of specific col- 
ours and the analogies between certain hues and the 
sounds of musical instruments. In this treatise he 
specifically mentioned the literature of Maeterlinck, 
the music of Wagner, Mussorgsky, Scriabin and 
Schonbergaswell as such artists as Cezanne, Matisse 
and Picasso. In addition, he referred to the Theosoph- 
ical Society and the writings of Mme Blavatsky. 
Occultism in general and theosophy in particular 
appear to have influenced Kandinsky's thinking about 
abstraction. 

In 1911 Kandinsky and Franz Marc began to prepare 
the Blaue Reiter almanac, which was published in the 
spring of 1912. This anthology contained Kandinsky's 
essays On the Question of Form, On Stage Com- 
position and his libretto for the Yellow Sound, an 
abstract stage composition. Moreover, the copious 



reproductions, as well as the essays by other authors 
on German and Russian music and French art, 
document the range of Kandinsky's interests. The 
illustrations included paintings by Cezanne, van 
Gogh, Gauguin, Rousseau, Delaunay, Matisse and 
Picasso; graphics by Kirchner, Nolde, Klee and Arp; 
several Bavarian glass paintings; Russian folk art and 
primitive art from Alaska, Mexico, Malaya and Easter 
Island. Both Concerning the Spiritual and the Blaue 
Reiter almanac reveal the wide diversity of 
Kandinsky's intellectual and artistic awareness. Many 
currents - from Symbolism and Art Nouveau to 
primitive and non-western art - come together in 
Kandinsky's work. Even antithetical elements are 
reconciled; opposing forces are prevented from 
contradicting each other. 

By 1911-12 Kandinsky's nonmimetic intent had be- 
come increasingly apparent and his paintings no 
longer represent objects in nature. In his canvas "No. 
160b (Improvisation 28 [?])',' the motifs have been 
obscured to an even greater degree than in the 
preparatory watercolour, where the cannon and 
mountain at the upper left and the citadel and sun at 
the upper right are more legible (cat. nos. 6 and 7). 
The images have been abstracted from nature to such 
an extent that they cannot easily be identified and 
"read". It is with difficulty and often over a period of 
time that images become legible to the viewer. 
Kandinsky frequently made preparatory drawings or 
watercolours which provide points of reference for 
deciphering the images in his paintings. The motifs 
which recur in these studies and final pictures can be 
interrelated and interpreted in terms of subject matter. 
Thus, Kandinsky's work remains hermetic and self 
referential. 

At least twenty drawings, watercolours and oil 
sketches preceded both "Painting with White Border" 
of May 1913 (fig. 2, Collection The Solomon R. 
Guggenheim Museum) and "Composition VII" of 
November 1913 (Collection Tretiakov Gallery, Mos- 
cow). They allow us to trace the gradual evolution of 
the apocalyptic imagery in each painting and, thus, 
reveal insights into the artist's creative process. In 
"Painting with White Border", as in "No. 160b", black 
lines provide a structural armature to which patches 
of colour and areas of white are conjoined so they 
function within a complex spatial continuum. Images 
are hidden, their outlines blurred, the distinctions 
between figure and ground are made ambiguous. 
Kandinsky sought not to paint images of the external 
world but events of an inner character, an inner and 



10 




Painting with White Border. May 1913 

Oil on canvas, 55V4X 78% in. (140.3 x 200.3cm) 
Collection The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 
New York 



truer reality. In many cases, prior to the execution of 
an oil painting, Kandinsky arrived at a carefully 
formulated composition. Thus, his "Improvisation" 7, 
18, 24, 26, 27, 30, 31 and 32, amongothers, were not 
unconscious, spontaneous expressions as defined in 
the artist's writings. "Light Picture" (cat. no. 8) an oil 
on canvas, is nearly identical to but three times larger 
than a watercolour study for it (Collection German- 
isches Nationalmuseum, Nurnberg). The essential 
black lines in the Guggenheim picture appear to be 
translations of India ink into oil paint. The brilliantly 
translucent colours of the forms have been applied 
thinly and blended delicately into the white and 
yellow paint of the background, so that the canvas 
captures the feeling of the watercolour. "Light Picture" 
and "Black Lines" (also Collection The Solomon R. 
Guggenheim Museum), both completed in Decem- 
ber 1913, were singled out by Kandinsky as non- 
objective pictures: not abstractions from objects but 
essentially and totally abstract works. Neither paint- 
ing is reliant upon perception or observation of 
nature; each is characterized by the boldness of the 
lines articulating the surface and by the freedom of 
floating shapes on that surface. They break free from 
the restrictions of objective origins. 
World War I constituted a major break in both 
Kandinsky's personal life and his artistic develop- 
ment: it forced him to leave Germany and return to 
Russia and it brought about his separation from 
Gabriele Munter, his companion for over a decade. 
Because of the war the Blaue Reiter group of artists in 
Munich dispersed; they pursued their separate direc- 
tions and several died in combat. During the war 
years Kandinsky's work changed radically. He did not 
execute any oils in either 1915 or 1918 and he painted 
only a limited number of canvases during the seven- 
year period he remained in Russia. He did, however, 
produce numerous drawings, watercolours, dry- 
points and other prints. Moreover, Kandinsky reverted 
to a more representational mode: for example, he 
painted fanciful "bagatelles", landscapes and views of 
Moscow. Many watercolours of 1915-18 are reminis- 
cent of his work done in Munich (such as cat. nos. 9 
and 11), although the latter of these examples 
incorporates fanciful, more ornamental details and 
places a new emphasis on geometric shapes. 
The innovations of the Russian avant-garde - the 
formulation of both Suprematism and Constructivism 
- occurred during Kandinsky's Russian period. After 
his return to Russia, Kandinsky encountered for the 
first time the abstract, geometric Suprematist painting 



of Kazimir Malevich and the Constructivist sculpture 
of Vladimir Tatlin. During this sojourn he probably 
met Malevich and Tatlin, as well as Naum Gabo, 
Antoine Pevsner, Alexandr Rodchenko, Liubov Pop- 
ova and Olga Rozanova, among others. Kandinsky's 
activities as a teacher, administrator and organiser of 
pedagogical programs undoubtedly consumed much 
of his time and energy. He took an active role in the 
Peoples' Commissariat for Enlightenment (Narkom- 
pros), helped to establish the Institute of Artistic 
Culture (Inkhuk) and founded the Russian Academy 
of Artistic Sciences (RAKhN). Our knowledge of 
Kandinsky's artistic development in this period re- 
mains fragmentary and difficult to analyze because of 
his restricted production and because much of his 
work was left in the Soviet Union. Nevertheless, one 
detects a sense of ambivalence in his Russian oeuvre: 
retrospection as well as tentative experimentation. A 
predilection for oval forms and structural organiza- 
tion, and a reliance upon borders to define perimeters 
are dominant (cat. nos. 10 and 12). Colour zones have 
become larger, forms more carefully delineated, 
shapes are simplified and increasingly contained as 
ovals, circles or triangles. While the placement of a 
receding rectangle on a unified square field in "Red 
Oval" (cat. no. 12) has been related to Suprematist 
compositions, the oar at the lower left is familiar from 
Kandinsky's early work, as are the motifs of boat and 
waves. The boat motif recurs in altered guise in "Gray 
Spot" of 1922 (cat. no. 13). 

By 1920 political conditions in Russia impeded the 
freedom of artistic creativity. At the end of 1921 
Kandinsky and his young Russian wife Nina, whom 
he had married in 1917, left their homeland for Berlin 
where they lived briefly. By the summer of 1922 he 
was living in Weimar and teaching at the Bauhaus. 
Walter Gropius had founded this school of applied 
arts in 1919, and Johannes Itten, Lyonel Feininger, 
Oskar Schlemmer and Paul Klee had already joined 
the faculty when Kandinsky began to teach there. 
These artists developed innovative theoretical 
courses, lead practical workshops and instruction in 
crafts and sought to reunite all artistic disciplines. At 
Weimar painting per se was not taught: rather, colour, 
proportion, rhythm, composition and design were 
emphasized. In addition to fulfilling the demands of a 
challenging teaching position, Kandinsky wrote ex- 
tensively during the Bauhaus period. His treatise 
Punkt unci Linie zu Flache (Point and Line to Plane), for 
which he had first made notes in 1914, was published 
in 1926 and represents the culmination of his 







Composition 8. July 1923 

Oil on canvas, 55 Ye x 79 Va in. (140 x 201 cm) 
Collection The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 
New York 



Accompanied Contrast. March 1935 

Oil with sand on canvas, 38'/4 x63% in. (97.1 x 162.1 cm) 
Collection The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 
New York 




theoretical deliberations. At the Bauhaus, Kandinsky 
painted approximately three hundred oils as well as 
an astonishing number of watercolours. It had long 
been his custom to systematically record his paintings 
in a Handlist (Hauskatalog) and, after 1922, he 
catalogued the watercolours as well. These Handlists, 
make clear the artist's title for each work and often the 
exact date it was executed. 

By 1923 Kandinsky's work is characterized by a 
preponderance of geometric shapes. "In the Black 
Square" (cat. no. 21), which dates from June of that 
year, manifests a white trapezoidal "page" of canvas 
superimposed on a square black background, a 
composition reminiscent of that of "Red Oval" (cat. 
no. 12). Suggestions of mountains and trees emerge in 
"In the Black Square" and also in "Three Sounds" (cat. 
no. 24). "In the Black Square" consists primarily of 
circles, semicircles, triangles and lines all of which 
attest to the artist's reliance upon compass and ruler. 
Although Kandinsky effectively used the circle in 
"Multicoloured Circle" (Collection Yale University 
Art Gallery New Haven, Conn.), painted in Moscow 
in 1921, this shape did not preoccupy him until 1923. 
For Kandinsky the circle had symbolic, cosmic 
meaning. He explained in 1929: "If I make such 
frequent, vehement use of the circle in recent years, 
the reason (or cause) for this is not the geometric form 
of the circle, or its countless variations; I love the 
circle today as I formerly loved the horse, for instance 
- perhaps even more, since I find more inner poten- 
tialities in the circle, which is why it has taken the 
horse's place." (Crohmann, 1959, p. 188). 
By 1923 Kandinsky had formulated a new way to 
organize pictorial elements. In "Composition 8" of 
July 1923 (fig. 3, Collection The Solomon R. Gug- 
genheim Museum), geometric shapes are strewn over 
the large canvas: circles, semicircles, triangles, 
squares, straight lines, curved lines and acute angles 
are placed without central focus or spatial unity. The 
pictorial organization of slightly later Bauhaus works 
emphasizes a strong sense of directionality (cat. nos. 
22, 24 and 26) or, in others, the rigid hierarchical 
arrangement (cat. nos. 27 and 32). In Point and Line to 
Plane Kandinsky elaborated upon the significance of 
the colour, geometric forms, directionality and place- 
ment of compositional elements. He proposed that 
red, yellow and blue correspond to the square, 
triangle and circle. Moreover, in the late 1920s the 
titles of his paintings and watercolours reinforce the 
meanings of colours: for example, "Pink Sweet" (cat. 
no. 30), "Sharp-Calm Pink" "Two Sides Red," "Tension 



in Red" and "In the Heavy Red." Kandinsky's knowl- 
edge and utilization of colour theory enabled him to 
contrast opposite colours and to create gradations 
within a single colour (cat. no. 31). Interaction of 
colours creates secondary hues where colour areas 
overlap and also produces effects of spatial recession, 
projection and movement within a picture. A new 
pictorial space, a smoothly uniform surface texture, a 
new precision in both colour zones and in linear 
definition, a new restraint and spareness characterize 
Kandinsky's Bauhaus pictures. 
After the Bauhaus moved from Weimar to Dessau in 
1925, Kandinsky shared a double house with his 
friend and colleague Paul Klee, whom he had first met 
in Munich in 1911. The close relationship between 
the two artists is manifest in their reciprocal influence 
on each other's work. In style, spirit and motif, "Little 
Game", "Bias" and "Glimmering" (cat. nos. 26, 32 
and 33) share affinities with Klee's work. Moreover, 
Kandinsky's technique of spattering or spraying 
watercolour onto the paper undoubtedly derives 
from Klee's innovative use of the process (cat. nos. 25, 
26,28,29,31 and 35). 

In the mid-to late 1920s Kandinsky's work gained 
recognition. He took an active role in preparing for 
his exhibitions, which occurred primarily in Ger- 
many but also were held in other European cities and 
in the United States. In 1926 a major show travelling 
in Germany and elsewhere marked the artist's sixtieth 
birthday, in 1929 his watercolours were exhibited at 
the Galerie Zak in Paris, and the following year his 
oils were seen there at the Galerie cle France. 
Increasingly, political pressure restricted artistic life in 
Germany and, ultimately, resulted in the closing of the 
Bauhaus at Dessau in 1932. Kandinsky joined the 
short-lived effort to reestablish it in Berlin. After the 
Bauhaus was finally closed in July 1933, the Kan- 
dinskys left Germany for France and at the end of the 
year they settled in Neuilly-sur-Seine near Paris. 
After September 1933 Kandinsky did not paint for 
several months. His first Paris pictures, which date 
from early 1934, are a continuation of his last work at 
Dessau. The hieratic, pictorial organization of "De- 
velopment Upwards" (cat. no. 36) derives from the 
bilaterally symmetrical compartmentalization of the 
picture plane in "Levels" (cat. no. 27). Likewise "Dark 
Situation" of July 1933 (cat. no 35) foreshadows "Two 
Green Points" of April 1935 (Collection Musee 
National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, 
Paris), and "Accompanied Contrast" of March 1935 
(fig. 4) (Collection The Solomon R. Guggenheim 



Museum) can be interpreted as a reprise of a 1931 
watercolour. In "Accompanied Contrast" and other 
Paris oils, Kandinsky combined sand with the pig- 
ment in certain well-defined areas which project 
slightly from the surface and contrast spatially and 
colouristically with the smoothly painted back- 
ground. The Paris pictures introduce a delicacy in 
theirtonalitiesanda brightness and sweetness in their 
colours. 

Between 1934 and 1944 Kandinsky executed one 
hundred and forty-four paintings, at least two hun- 
dred and eight watercolours and more than one 
hundred drawings. The Paris work reveals his per- 
sonal response to prevailing artistic tendencies: the 
free, organic shapes of Surrealism, on the one hand, 
and the geometric abstraction of the Art Concret and 
Abstraction-Creation movements on the other. Thus, 
he employed a combination of biomorphic and 
geometric forms as the basis for an abstract style. His 
synthesis of geometric lines and painterly colours is 
best exemplified by "Green Accent" and "Gridded" 
(cat. nos. 38 and 39). In "Yellow Canvas" of July 1938 
(cat. no. 41 ), geometric forms serve as the structure of 
the composition. By means of emphatically juxta- 
posed colours as well as its diagonal and curving 
lines, this geometric structure contrasts with the flat 
yel low ground at the same time it occupies space. The 
spatial ambiguities and resultant tensions on the 
picture plane which characterize this painting occur 
frequently in Kandinsky's late work. 
While the composition of "Various Actions" of August 
- September 1941 (cat. no. 43) clearly resembles that 
in "Composition 8" of July 1923, the pictorial 
vocabulary has expanded beyond the strictly geome- 
tric to include curving biomorphic motifs. Un- 
doubtedly influenced by Joan Miro', Jean Arp and 
other Surrealists, Kandinsky's late work incorporates 
images of biological derivation, including micro- 
scopic organisms and flagellate forms (cat. no. 44 and 
45). The repetition of specific coloured shapes 
imbues his pictures with hermetic meaning, so that 
his work remains self-contained. A sense of delibera- 
tion and self-consciousness dominates his plastic 
imagination and disciplines his intuitions. 
Throughout his career, from his student days in 
Munich at age thirty until his death in Paris at seventy- 
eight, Kandinsky was responsive to his artistic envi- 
ronment and receptive to change and innovation. 
Throughout his development as an artist, Kandinsky's 
love for music, poetry, dance and theatre remained 
constant and led him to see clearly the common 



sources of all the arts. In the essay "L'Art concret" 
which he wrote ip January 1938, Kandinsky empha- 
sized the correspondences between painting and 
music as he had almost thirty years earlier in 
Concerning the Spiritual in Art. Around 1910 he had 
written abstract stage compositions (such as The 
Yellow Sound for which Thomas von Hartmann 
composed the music); in 1928 he designed sets for 
Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition and even as late 
as 1944 he planned to design sets for a ballet in 
collaboration with von Hartmann. Kandinsky's activ- 
ity as a teacher began at the Phalanx school in 
Munich in 1901-03, continued through the Russian 
period and culminated in his association with the 
Bauhaus. He wrote and published extensively 
throughout his life, and his theoretical preoccupa- 
tions have continuity. Like his painting, Kandinsky's 
writing expresses his belief in the spiritual. Art derives 
from inner necessity and "form is the external 
expression of inner meaning". As Kandinsky wrote in 
Concerning the Spiritual in Art: "That is beautiful 
which is produced by internal necessity, which 
springs from the soul". 



Vivian Endicott Barnett. 



15 



1. Lady with a Fan. 1903 

Dame mit F'acher 

Handlist: No. 2, Abend, Dame im Reifrockkleid. 
(R. 2) Fourth state 

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 
71.1958 

Colour woodcut on paper, 10x6" 

(25.4 x 15.2cm) 

Not signed or dated. 

Provenance: 

Private Collection, Germany; purchased at 
auction (Munich, Galerie Wolfgang Ketterer, 
Moderne Kunst und jugendstil, Auktion 4, 
December 8, 1 970, no. 445, repr.) by R. M. Light 
tor The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. 



16 



2. Singer. 1903 

Sangerin 

Handlist: No. 4. 

(R. 4) Second state 

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 

72.2003 

Colour woodcut on paper mounted on gray 
paper, 10 5 /a x 7V 2 " (27 x 19.2cm) 

Signed on support in pencil \.\.:Kandinsky; 
\.r.: Kandinsky. 

Provenance: 

Private collection, Germany and New York; 
purchased at auction (Bern, Kornt'eld und 
Klipstein, Moderne Kunst des Neunzehnten und 
Zwanzigsten jahrhunderts, June 15-17, 1972, 
no. 449, repr.) by R. M. Light for The Solomon 
R. Guggenheim Museum. 



"Lady with a Fan" and "Singer" reveal the dominant 
influence exerted by the/ugendst/7 movement on 
Kandinsky's early woodcuts. This influence is 
apparent in flattened and sinuously delineated forms 
as well as ambiguities created between figure and 
ground. The way black is deployed contributes 
to the spatial ambiguity: in both woodcuts black 
functions simultaneously as background and as 
part of the figure. In these and other early works, 
Kandinsky often used white as positive rather than 
negative space, a characteristic jugendstil device. 
The romantic sentiment and sombre mood of these 
prints suggests more traditional influences, such as 
the Rococo or Biedermeier styles. During his early 
years in Munich, Kandinsky remained fascinated 
with romantic themes - fairy-tale scenes, dreamy 
landscapes, exotic costumes - and made a number 
of costume studies. Crinolined dresses, like the one 
worn by the "Lady with a Fan", appear frequently 
in the early Munich works. Kandinsky's fondness 
for music is reflected in the theme of "Singer". 
Between 1902 and 1904 Kandinsky completed 
over forty-eight woodcuts. In these prints and the 
majority of his early colour woodcuts, Kandinsky 
followed the Japanese method of printing: 
he used two blocks, one for colour and the other for 
lines. The works were then handprinted with 
watercolours. "Lady with a Fan" was made with two 
blocks; in "Singer" an additional colour accent was 
provided by a third block. 



18 



3. Amsterdam - View from the Window. 
1904 

Amsterdam, Blick aus dem Fenster 

Handlist: small oil studies 52, Amsterdam, 
aus d. Fenster. 

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 
46.1055 

Oil on board, 9% x 13" (23.9 x 33.1 cm) 

Signed l.r.: Kandinsky. Not dated; inscribed on 
reverse: Kandinsky.- Amsterdam No 52/1903. 

Provenance: 

Hilda Bachrach, Forest Hills, New York, by 1946; 
purchased from Bachrach, 1946. 



During the first years of this century Kandinsky 
travelled extensively, visiting Holland in May-June 
1904. "Amsterdam - View from the Window" 
records a specific impression: the view from the 
Americain Hotel on the Leidseplein showing the 
bridge over the Singlegracht. Characteristic of his 
small oil sketches of the period are the high horizon, 
the vivid yet realistic colours and the rich texture of 
the paint itself. Kandinsky was already familiar with 
the work of Monet and the Neo-lmpressionists and 
in his own painting was experimenting with various 
related techniques. 



20 



4. Study for "Landscape with Tower." 
1908 

Etude pour "Pay sage avec une tour" 

Not in Handlist 

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 
38.501 

Oil on board, 13 x 17V 2 " (33 x 44.5cm) 
Signed l.r.: Kandinsky. Not dated. 

Provenance: 

Purchased from Cutekunst unci Klipstein, Bern, 
by Solomon R. Guggenheim, New York, July 
1938; Gift, Solomon R. Guggenheim, 1938. 



22 



5. Landscape with Factory Chimney. 1910 

Landschaft mit Fabrikschornstein 

Handlist: 79 70, 705 Peizazh s fabr [ichnoi] truboi 
(in Cyrillic alphabet: Landscape with Factory 
Chimney). 

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 
41.504 

Oil on canvas, 26 x 32'A" (66.2 x 82cm) 
Signed and dated l.r.: Kandinsky 1 7970. 

Provenance: 

Purchased from Herwarth Walden by Paul 
Citroen, Berlin and Amsterdam, ca. 1919; 
purchased from Citroen by Kunstsammlungen 
zu Weimar, 1923-37; purchased from Gutekunst 
und Klipstein, Bern, by Solomon R. Guggenheim, 
New York, July 1939; Gift, Solomon R. 
Guggenheim, 1941. 



Beginning in the summer of 1908, Kandinsky 
worked together with Gabriele Miinter, Marianne 
von Werefkin and Alexej Jawlensky in the rural 
setting of Murnau. Landscapes, painted in bright, 
Fauvist colours and in an expressive, painterly style 
close to that of Jawlensky, become a dominant 
theme. For the most part, these landscapes betray a 
predilection for hilly, jagged terrain wherein the 
strong diagonal rhythm of the street or hills is 
balanced by an assertive vertical tower. Colours tend 
toward various hues of blue, red, green and yellow. 

Though often based on the Murnau countryside, 
works such as "Study for Landscape with Tower" and 
"Landscape with Factory Chimney" are not merely 
nature studies, but rather, are evocations of inner 
emotional or spiritual states. Toward this end, 
colour and form are increasingly liberated from 
representational subject matter. By 1910 the patches 
of pure colour and radically simplified, flattened 
forms exemplified in "Landscape with Factory 
Chimney" begin to obscure topographical and 
spatial distinctions. 



24 



6. Study for "No. 160b." 

(Improvisation 28). [?] 1911-12. 

Not in Handlist 

The Hilla von Rebay Foundation 
1970.127 

Watercolour, India ink and pencil on paper, 
15% x22V (39x56.1 cm.) 

Signed l.l.:K. Not dated. 

Provenance: 

Probably purchased from the artist by Michael E. 
Sadler, Oxford, summer 1912 - June 1936; Hilla 
Rebay, Greens Farms, Conn., by 1947; The Hilla 
von Rebay Foundation. 



26 



7. No. 160b (Improvisation 28). [?] 1912. 

Handlist: 1912, 160b. 

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 

37.239 

Oil on canvas, 43% x 63%" (1 1 1 .4 x 162.1 cm.) 

Signed and dated 1. 1.: Kandinsky/i9i2; inscribed 
twice on stretcher, possibly by the artist: 
Improvisation No. 28; signed on stretcher: 
Kandinsky. 

Provenance: 

Museum Folkwang, Essen, before 1922-36; 
Galerie Ferdinand Moller, Berlin, 1936; purchased 
from Moller by Solomon R. Guggenheim, New 
York, 1936; Gift, Solomon R. Guggenheim, 1937. 



Most of Kandinsky's watercolours from 1910 to 1914 
can be related to coeval oil paintings and some are 
direct preparatory sketches for canvases. The 
preparatory watercolourfor "No. 160b" (cat. no. 6) 
displays a greater profusion and clarity of 
detail - such as the mountain and cannon at the 
upper left and the sun and citadel at the upper right - 
than found in the oil painting. Certain motifs in the 
canvas can be interpreted as representational images 
only by referring to the watercolour: for example, 
the couple at the far right margin and the whale or 
serpent below. Kandinsky has divided the 
composition with two tubular forms and has 
depicted themes of destruction and war on the left 
and hopeful, idyllic images on the right. 



28 



8. Light Picture. December 1913. 

Helles Bild 

Handlist: xii/1913, 188 Svetlaia kartina 
(in Cyrillic alphabet: Light Picture). 

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 
37.244 

Oil on canvas, 30 5 / 8 x 3,9W (77.8 x 100.2cm.) 

Signed and dated 1. 1.: Kandinsky i9i3; inscribed 
on stretcher: Kandinsky - Helles Bild No 188. 

Provenance: 

Left by Kandinsky with Gabriele Munter, Murnau, 
1914; purchased from Munter by Herwarth 
Walden, Berlin, 1916 or 1917; acquired from 
Walden by R Kluxen, Munster; Kluxen - at least 
1924; Solomon R. Guggenheim, New York by 
September 1930; Gift, Solomon R. Guggenheim, 
1937. 



Both "Light Picture" and "Black Lines", oils in the 
Guggenheim Museum collection which were 
painted in December 1913, are, by the artist's own 
testimony, among the earliest examples in his work 
of "non-objective art." "Light Picture" is nearly 
identical to but three times larger than its watercolour 
study (Collection Germanisches Nationalmuseum, 
Nurnberg). Compositional structure, linear 
configurations, colour areas and most peculiarities of 
detail correspond in the canvas and watercolour. In 
each, a dark red spot is located at the centre below a 
lavender diagonal; farther to the left, yellow 
surrounds bold zigzag lines, and at the lower left and 
lower right there is green blue. The oil pigments 
have been applied thinly and blended delicately into 
the white and yellow paint of the background. In the 
Guggenheim picture the scratchy black lines have 
not been made with India ink and a pen: rather, they 
are translations of ink into oil paint. The blotted and 
smeared "ink" at the lower left is actually oil on 
canvas. 



30 



9. Untitled. 1915 

Not in Handlist 

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 
H ilia Rebay Collection 

71.1936 R164 

Watercolour, India ink and pencil on paper, 
8% x13 3 / 8 " (22.6 x 34cm) 

Signed and dated l.r.: K/15. 

Provenance: 

Mr. and Mrs. William Dieterle, Los Angeles, -1945; 
Hilla Rebay, Greens Farms, Conn.; 
Estate of H ilia Rebay, 1967-71. 



32 



10. Sketch for "Gray Oval Painting". 1917 

Not in Handlist 

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 
39.246 

Watercolour, India ink and pencil on paper, 
10 x 11 %" (25.4 x 28.5cm) 

Signed and dated I.I. :K/17. 

Provenance: 

Purchased from Nierendorf Gallery, New York, 

May 1939. 



A landscape replete with suggestions of trees, hills, 
grass and a boat atop waves arises from a nebulous 
black ovoid form in "Sketch for Gray Oval Painting". 
A sense of turbulence is expressed as much by the 
energized lines and brushwork - hatchetlike 
slashes, squiggles, calligraphic strokes - as by the 
images of jutting triangular hills and the charged 
treetop to the left. 

In "Gray Oval Painting" Kandinsky uses a border, 
a pictorial solution he first worked out in "Painting 
with White Border" of 1913. He continued to 
explore the formal potentialities of borders through 
the early 1920s. Often these borders create effects 
of depth, as in "Gray Oval Painting" where the black 
area seems to lie deeper than its gray surroundings. 
Moreover, this device serves to free the pictorial 
conception from the rectangular format of the 
support. Many titles from this period include 
the word "border" or "oval". 



34 



11. Untitled. March 1918 

Not in Handlist 

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 

39.249 

Watercolour, India ink and pencil on paper, 
8% x 19%" (22.4 x 48.6cm) 

Signed and dated 1. 1.: K/iii 18. 

Provenance: 

Purchased from Nierendorf Gallery, New York, 
May 1939. 



Most of the watercolours Kandinsky painted 
during his stay in Russia (1914-21 ) date from 1918. 
Although this was a stylistically varied period, there 
is a general tendency toward animated use of line 
and colour. The combination of representational 
and abstract forms, delicate pastel washes and 
activated black ink-lines is reminiscent of pictures 
dated 1914 and 1915. In comparison with "Untitled" 
of 1915 (cat. no. 9) lines are more fluid and images 
are at once more naturalistic and more fanciful. 
These new qualities may derive from the intervening 
"bagatelles", a group of watercolours Kandinsky 
painted in the late teens which are characterized 
by similarly fluid line and representational, often 
fairy-tale imagery. 



36 



12. Red Oval. 1920 

Rotes Oval 

Handlist: 1920, 227 Krasnyi oval (in Cyrillic 
alphabet: Red Oval). 

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 
51.1311 

Oil on canvas, 28% x 28%" (71 .5x71 .2 cm.) 

Signed and dated 1. 1.: K20; inscribed on reverse: 

KINo227H920. 

Provenance: 

Ernst Heyer, Bielefeld, ca. 1923; Hella 
Nebelung, DQsseldorf, by 1950; purchased 
from Nebelung by Otto Stangl, Munich, by 
1950; purchased from Stangl, 1951. 



"Red Oval" marks a transitional phase in Kandinsky's 
development between the expressivity of his pre-war 
style and the geometric discipline of his Bauhaus 
period. Colour remains saturated and boldly 
contrasted, but is deployed in a less painterly, flatter 
and more restrained manner. Vestiges of landscape 
forms and familiar motifs such as the boat and oar 
are set against a yellow rectangular form. 
"Red Oval" is among the few oils Kandinsky painted 
when he returned to Russia. Only six oils were 
painted in the latter half of 1919, and ten, including 
"Red Oval", in 1920. Because Kandinsky's work 
became increasingly geometric while he was 
in Russia, the influence of Suprematism and 
Constructivism has been argued. In particular, the 
presence of a receding rectangle in a square field 
in "Red Oval" has been cited as a possible reference 
to the work of Malevich. 



38 



13. Gray Spot. 1922 A free-form gray shape serves as an interior field for 

_ J-, , nautical and geometric imagery. The dispersal of 

(uraue rieCK weight within the gray shape is balanced by the 

Handlist: 1922,41 Graue Fleck. positioning of the four outer elements. Schematic 

. n _ . renderings of boats, masts, water and banners occur 

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum frequently in Kandinsky's works of 1922 and 1923. 

37.253 Similar motifs appear in "Small Worlds IV" and 

Watercolour, gouache, India ink and pencil " Arc and Point " (caL nos - 16 ' 21 K 

on paper, 18% x 16 3 / 4 " (46.7 x 42.5cm.) 

Signed and dated 1. 1.: K/22; inscribed on 
reverse: No. 4i/i922 

Provenance: 

Purchased from the artist by Solomon R. 
Guggenheim, New York, by 1936; Gift, 
Solomon R. Guggenheim, 1937. 



40 




tt 



14. Small Worlds 1. 1922 

Kleine Welten I 

(R. 164) 

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 
Hi I la Rebay Collection 

71.1936 R270.1 

Colour lithograph on paper, 14x11" 
(35.5 x 28cm) 

Signed in pencil l.r.: Kandinsky; signed and 
dated in stone 1. 1.: KI22. 

No. 22 of edition of 230 

Provenance: 

Hi I la Rebay, Greens Farms, Conn.; Estate of 
Hilla Rebay, 1967-71. 



42 




A 



be 



15. Small Worlds III. 1922 

Kleine Welten III 

(R. 166) 

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 
Hi I la Rebay Collection 
71.1936 R270.3 

Colour lithograph on paper, 1414 x 10%" 
(36 x 28cm.) 

Signed in pencil l.r.: Kandinsky; signed and 
dated in stone I.I. :KI22. 

No. 22 of edition of 230 

Provenance: 

Hilla Rebav, Greens Farms, Conn.; Estate of 

Hilla Rebay, 1967-71. 



44 



16. Small Worlds IV 1922 

Kleine Welten IV 

(R. 167) 

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 
Hilla Rebay Collection 

71.1936 R270.4 

Colour lithograph on paper, 14V4 x 11" 
(36 x 28cm) 

Signed in pencil l.r.: Kandinsky; signed and 
dated in stone \.\.:K. 

No. 22 of edition of 230 

Provenance: 

Hilla Rebay, Greens Farms, Conn.; Estate of 
Hilla Rebay, 1967-71. 



46 



17. Small Worlds VII. 1922 

Kleine Welten VII 

(R. 170) 

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 
Hilla Rebay Collection 

71.1936 R270.7 

Colour lithograph on paper, 14V4 x 1 1 V*" 
(36.1 x 28.2cm) 

Signed in pencil l.r.: Kandinsky; signed in stone 
I. L/C 

No. 22 of edition of 230 

Provenance: 

Hilla Rebay, Greens Farms, Conn.; Estate of 
Hilla Rebay, 1967-71. 



48 



18. Small Worlds VIII. 1922 

Kleine Welten VIII 

(R. 171) 

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 
Hi I la Rebay Collection 

71.1936 R270. 8 

Woodcut on paper, 14% x 11" (38 x 27.6cm) 

Signed in pencil l.r.: Kandinsky; signed in block 
\.\.;K 

No. 22 of edition of 230. 

Provenance: 

Hilla Rebay, Greens Farms, Conn.; Estate of 
Hilla Rebay, 1967-71. 



50 



19. Small Worlds XII. 1922 

Kleine Welten XII 

(R. 175) 

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 
Hi I la Rebay Collection 

71.1936 R270.12 

Drypoint on paper, 14 1 /2 x 11" (36.7 x 28cm) 

Signed in pencil l.r.: Kandinsky; signed in plate 
1. 1.: K; 

No. 22 of edition of 230 

Provenance: 

Hilla Rebay, Greens Farms, Conn.; Estate of 
Hilla Rebay, 1976-71. 



In June of 1922 Kandinsky returned to Germany 
from Russia to teach at the Weimar Bauhaus. Upon 
his arrival, he began working on the portfolio of 
prints , "Kleine Welten." This was printed in 1922 at 
the Staatliches Bauhaus in Weimar under the artist's 
supervision and published in Berlin by Propylaen 
Verlag. The edition consisted of 230 copies. In his 
foreword to "Kleine Welten," Kandinsky described 
the series of twelve prints as composed of four 
woodcuts, four etchings and four lithographs. 
However, the two "colour woodcuts", according 
to Hans Konrad Roethel, are actually lithographs 
which resemble woodcuts. 

These prints give visual currency to many concerns 
central to Kandinsky's major Bauhaus treatise, Point 
and Line to Plane. In particular they document his 
sensitivity to the different effects that can be realized 
through each of the graphic techniques. Numbers I, 
IV, and VII of "Kleine Welten" anticipate the 
schematization of form, simplification of colour 
and preference for such motifs as the spear, the 
checkerboard, the horn and the circle which 
characterize Kandinsky's work of the twenties. 
The turbulent movement and sketchy, energized lines 
of number VIII are retrospective in temperament, 
while other prints, notably numbers III and XII, are 
transitional in style. Number III, for example, 
intermediates between "Red Oval" and "In the 
Black Square." 



52 









^ £» 





catalogue no. 3 

Amsterdam - View from the window. 1904 

Oil on board, 9% x 13in.(23.9 x 33.1cm) 
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. 




catalogue no. 6 

Study for "No. 160b" (Improvisation 28[?]). 1911-12 

Watercolour, India ink and pencil on paper, 15 3 /s x 22V8in.(39 x 56.1cm) 
The Hilla von Rebay Foundation. 







-/ 






catalogue no. 8 



Light Picture. December 1913 

Oil on canvas, 30 5 / 8 x 39V 2 \n.(77.8 x 100.2cm) 
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. 




catalogue no. 1 1 

Untitled. March 1918 

Watercolour, India ink and pencil on paper, 8% x 19 1 /8in.(22.4 x 48.6cm) 
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. 




catalogue no. 12 

Red Oval. 1920 

Oil on canvas, 28V 8 x 28V 8 in.(71.2 x 71.2cm) 
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. 




catalogue no. 21 

In the Black Square. June 1923 

Oil on canvas, 38 3 /a x 36% in (97.5 x 93cm) 
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. 



catalogue no. 31 

Quiet Assertion. December 1929 

Watercolour and India ink on paper, 15% x 21 V4 in.(40.5 x 53.8cm) 
The Hilla von Rebay Foundation. 



opposite: 
catalogue no. 41 

Yellow Canvas. July 1938 

Oil and enamel on canvas, 45% x 35in.(1 16.4 x 88.8cm) 
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. 



20. Arc and Point. February 1923 

Bogen und Spitze 

Handlist: ii 1923, 58 Bogen und Spitze. 

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 
50.1290 

Watercolour, India ink and pencil on paper, 
18 3 /8x16y2" (46.5 x 42cm) 

Signed and dated 1. 1.: K/23; inscribed on reverse 
mount: No 58/1923/ "Bogen und Spitze." 

Provenance: 

Purchased from the artist by Rudolf Ibach, 
Barmen, Germany, Dec. 1925 (HL); purchased 
from Ibach by his son-in4aw Otto Stangl, 
Munich; purchased from Stangl, 1950. 



62 



21 . In the Black Square. June 1923. 

Im schwarzem Viereck 

Handlist: vi, 1923, 259, Im schwarzem Viereck. 

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 
37.254 

Oil on canvas, 38% x 36 5 /a" (97.5 x 93cm.) 

Signed and dated I.I.: K/23; inscribed on 
reverse: K/No259./i923. 

Provenance: 

Victor Rubin, Berlin, Sept. 1923-Apr. 1936 (HL); 
purchased from J. B. Neumann, New York, by 
Solomon R. Guggenheim, New York, Apr. 
1936; Gift, Solomon R. Guggenheim, 1937. 



The motif of the receding rectangle introduced in 
"Red Oval" is taken up again in "In the Black 
Square." Whereas Kandinsky made use of painterly 
and organic elements in the earlier canvas, the 
Bauhaus work relies exclusively on geometric forms: 
circles, rectangles, triangles, lines. Tensions result 
from the dramatic and now clearly delineated 
opposition between the white trapezoid and black, 
square format and in the contrasts set up between 
rough and smooth textures, straight and curved, 
thick and thin, parallel and intersecting lines. 
From 1923 to 1925 circles figure prominently in 
Kandinsky's pictures. His fascination with the circle 
stems from its formal "synthesis of the greatest 
oppositions" in equilibrium. Here the six circles 
function as stable elements, while the influx of 
diagonal lines animates the white interior field. 



64 



22. Blue Picture. January 1924 

Blaues Bild 

Handlist: / 1924, 267, Blaues Bild. 
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 
76.2277 

Oil on canvas mounted on board, 
19% x 19%" (50.6 x 49.5cm.) 
Signed and dated 1. 1.: K/24; inscribed on 
reverse, probably not by the artist: 
K/No267/i924. 

Provenance: 

C. E. Scheyer, Apr. 1924 (HL); Lilienfeld Gallery, 
New York; purchased from Lilienfeld by 
The New Gallery, Inc., New York; purchased 
from New Gallery by Fuller Foundation. Inc., 
Fort Worth, Texas, Dec. 1960; Gift, Fuller 
Foundation, Inc., 1976. 



A number of works dating to the early Bauhaus 
period (1922-25) are dominated by a powerful 
diagonal spear-form. Kandinsky described diagonals 
positioned in this way as "harmonious", and as 
producing the effect of "lyric tension". In "Blue 
Picture" the diagonal thrust of the spear, as Will 
Grohmann has pointed out, was strengthened by 
moving the circle of the preliminary watercolour 
study from the upper left to its present position at the 
lower right. The use of red in the lower left corner 
and in the arc which intersects the upper portion 
of the spear similarly serves to accent the 
diagonal's ascension. 

The background is composed of varying shades of 
deep royal blue which become a light blue around 
the central grouping of geometric and linear forms. 
The lighter hue illuminates and binds more closely 
these formal elements. 



66 



23. Seventeen Segments. October 1924 

17 Segmente 

Handlist: x 1924, 164, 17 Segmente. 

The Hilla von Rebay Foundation 
1970.14 

Watercolour, gouache, India ink and pencil 
on paper, 19V 8 x 13 1 / 8 " (48.6 x 33.4cm.) 

Signed and dated 1. 1.: KI24; inscribed on 
reverse: No 164/ i924. 

Provenance: 

Nierendorf(HL); Jon Nicholas Streep, New 
York, through 1951 ; acquired from Streep by 
Hilla Rebay, Greens Farms, Conn., 1951 ; 
The Hilla von Rebay Foundation. 



The seventeen semi-circular fragments referred to in 
the title are set against an arrangement of rectangles. 
A shifting of planes or a schism is suggested by the 
grouping of the four large rectangles which leaves 
bare a white cross-shaped crevice. The effect of 
loosened and tumbling forms at the top contrasts to 
the buildup of elements at the bottom. 



68 



24. Three Sounds. August 1926 

Drei Klange 

Handlist: viii 1926, 343, Drei Klange. 

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 
41.282 

Oil on canvas, 23 5 /a x 2Vh" (59.9 x 59.6cm.) 

Signed and dated 1. 1.: K/26; inscribed on 
reverse: K/No 343/7926/ "Drei Klange" 159 x 59. 

Provenance: 

Purchased from the artist by Anhaltische 
Gemaldegalerie Dessau, Nov. 1928 (HL) - 
1937; purchased from Gutekunst und Klipstein, 
Bern, by Solomon R. Guggenheim, New York, 
Feb. 1939; Gift, Solomon R. Guggenheim, 
1941. 



Kandinsky employs the word "sounds" (Klange) 
throughout his theoretical writings and, on occasion, 
in titles of his art works. Generally this term is used 
in the sense of "inner resonance" or "spiritual 
vibration". In the present painting, the disposition 
of images toward the upper left, upper right and 
lower left corners evokes three different "sounds". 
Two translucent triangles act as a bridge from the 
upward-pointing arrows to the upper left corner, just 
as the diaphanous circle on the right forms a bridge 
between the central cluster of triangles and the 
checkerboard. The weightlessness of the small 
circles which seem to float toward the upper right 
corner contrasts to the downward pull of the five 
overlapping semicircles below. 



70 



25. Capriccio. September 1927 

Capriccio 

Handlist: ix 1927, 213, Capriccio. 

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 
38.298 

Watercolourand India ink on paper, 13 5 /8 x9 3 A" 
(34.5x24.6 cm) 

Signed and dated 1. 1.: K/27; inscribed on 
reverse: No 2i3 1 1927 Capriccio. 

Provenance: 

Purchased from the artist through Kandinsky- 
Gesellschaft by Heinrich Stinnes, Cologne, 
1927-28; purchased at auction (Bern, 
Gutekunst und Klipstein, Moderne Craphik 
derSammlung Heinrich Stinnes, June 21 , 1938, 
no.423) by Otto Nebel for The Solomon R. 
Guggenheim Museum. 



72 



26. Little Game. June 1928 

Kleines Spiel 

Handlist: w 1928, 282, Kleines Spiel. 

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 
48.1172x87 

Watercolour and India ink on paper, 13% x 6 5 /a" 
(34 x 17cm.) 

Signed and dated 1. 1.: K/28; inscribed on 
reverse mount: No 282 11928 /Kleines Spiel." 

Provenance: 

Probst (HL); Nierendorf Gallery, New York, 

by 1948; Estate of Karl Nierendorf, 1948. 



Numerous paintings dating from the late twenties 
to early thirties have cheerful, even playful titles such 
as "Capriccio" or "Little Game." The capricious yet 
masterful balance of forms in the present two works 
betrays shared concerns. Each relies on the tension 
created between diagonal compositional movement 
and stabilizing elements. The predominant thrust 
of "Capriccio" toward the upper right corner is 
challenged by devices such as the downward sweep 
of the large horn at the bottom, the overlapping 
angles in the centre, and the quiet stability of the 
isolated circle. Similarly, the placement of linear 
elements, notably the double-arch motifs in the 
upper right and lower left areas of "Little Game," 
tends to lock the stacked triangles in space to 
produce an effect of animated repose. Kandinsky's 
pleasure in "mingling serious forms with comical 
external expression," is embodied in "Little Game's" 
balancing-act of triangular and linear elements. 

Particularly after 1 925 the spray process was 
employed by Klee and others at the Bauhaus. 
By the late twenties spattered or sprayed watercolour 
appears frequently in Kandinsky's work. Horn forms, 
like those in "Capriccio", are common motifs in his 
paintings and watercolours executed between 
1925 and 1927. 



74 



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27. Levels. March 1929 

Etagen 

Handlist: //'/' 1929, 452, Etagen. 

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 

46.1049 

Oil on board, 22V4 x 16" (56.6 x 40.6cm.) 

Signed and dated 1. 1.: K/29; inscribed on 
reverse: K/No 452 H929 1" Etagen" I4i x 56. 

Provenance: 

Purchased from the artist by E. Teriade, Paris, 
ca. 1930; Use Shryer, New York, by 1946; 
purchased from Shryer, 1946. 



From the Bauhaus period on, Kandinsky often 
divided his format both horizontally and vertically 
into geometric areas. "Levels" is divided by strong 
central verticals and compartmentalized into twelve 
distinct areas by horizontals. The forms grouped 
within these subdivisions resemble hieroglyphics, 
an effect heightened by the use of a small number of 
basic shapes - the circle, the horn, the triangle and 
the rectangle - in different combinations. The calm, 
meditative quality of "Levels" is consistent with other 
works of the Dessau period. 



76 



28. Supporting Circle. April 1929 

Tragende Runde 

Handlist: iv 1929, 346, Tragende Runde. 

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 
38.317 

Watercolour, India ink and pencil on paper, 

19 3 Ax 17%" (50 x 44.2cm.) 

Signed and dated 1. 1.: K/29; inscribed on 
reverse: No 346 H929 /"Tragende Runde". 

Provenance: 

Purchased from the artist through Kandinsky 
Gesellschaft by Heinrich Stinnes, Cologne; 
purchased at auction (Bern, Gutekunst und 
Klipstein, Moderne Craphik der Sammlung 
Heinrich Stinnes, June 21 , 1938, no. 429) by 
Otto Nebel for The Solomon R. Guggenheim 
Museum. 



Kandinsky's preference for graphic rather than 
pictorial means of expression during the Dessau 
period is most notable in works which recall 
architectural blueprints. "Supporting Circle", with its 
predominance of linear elements and constructions 
reminiscent of building facades and scaffolding, 
suggests an architect's rendering. Even the spattered 
colour areas are geometrically disposed. Yet this 
formal severity is relieved by the delicate, extremely 
tenuous, balance of the semicircular arc upon the tip 
of a triangle which supports it. Within the circle, the 
theme of precarious balance is a leitmotiv recurring 
in the groups of stacked triangles and other charged 
intersections of pointed and curvilinear forms. For 
Kandinsky, the point of contact between triangle and 
circle had profound significance; it was likened to 
the life-giving touch of the finger of God to the finger 
of Adam in Michelangelo's Sistine fresco. 



78 



29. Cool Discourse. May 1929 

Kuhle Rede 

Handlist: v 1929, 349, Kuhle Rede. 

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 
38.312 

Watercolour, India ink and pencil on paper, 
20% x 9%" (51 x 24cm) 

Signed and dated 1. 1.: KI29; inscribed on reverse 
mount: No 349119291 "Kuhle Rede." 



Kandinsky's discussion of the importance of line to 
engineering art and technology in Point and Line to 
Plane finds pictorial expression in the linear mast 
structures at the bottom of "Cool Discourse". Above 
these structures are four satellite forms. The inventive 
use of the spatter technique to extend colour areas 
from the spokelike lines of these satellites, creates 
a prismatic effect of colour and light. 



Provenance: 

Purchased from Rudolf Bauer, Berlin, 
Dec. 1938. 



80 




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30. Pink-Sweet. December 1929 

Rosa-Suss 

Handlist: xii 1929, 481, Rosa-Suss. 

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 
H ilia Rebay Collection 

71.1936 R69 

Oil on board, 27 Va x 18% " (69.2 x 47.8cm) 

Signed and dated 1. 1.: K/29; inscribed on 
reverse: K/No 48/7/929/ "Rosa-Suss"! 49 x 70. 

Provenance: 

J. B. Neumann, New York (HL); Nierendorf 
Gallery, New York, by 1942; purchased from 
Nierendorf by Hilla Rebay, Greens Farms, 
Conn., 1944; Estate of Hilla Rebay, 1967-71. 



"Pink-Sweet" belongs to a group of similar works 
of 1929 in which a circular form hovers above 
leftward-inclined step motif. The stepped 
progression of totemic and pyramidal structures 
toward the heavenly aqua blue band across the top 
of the painting intimates movement toward a higher 
order. Kandinsky associated the top of his "basic 
plane" with the heavens; blue was for him the most 
spiritual of colours. To the right, an asteroidlike 
shape spins a luminous aura. "Pink Sweet" 
partakes of the solemnity and mysticism of the 
late Dessau period. 



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31 . Quiet Assertion. December 1929 

Ruhige Behauptung 

Handlist: xii 1929, 366, Ruhige Behauptung. 

The Hilla von Rebay Foundation 
1970.33 

Watercolour and India ink on paper, 
15% x 21 %" (40.5 x 53.8cm) 

Signed and dated 1. 1.: K/29; inscribed on 
reverse: 366. 



The title, "Quiet Assertion", alludes to the theme of 
this work: forms directed toward the right quietly 
assert themselves against the stable elements to the 
left. While the pointed tip of the red shape nears 
confrontation with the upright pale yellow rectangle, 
the tricolour rhomboid seems propelled along the 
planar trajectory of the circle and the ovoid form. 
The hazy, almost atmospheric background and the 
overlapping of translucent planes contribute to an 
illusion of depth. 



Provenance: 

Probst (HL); J.B. Neumann, New York, by 1937; 
Nierendorf Gallery, New York, by 1942; 
purchased from Nierendorf by Hilla Rebay, 
Greens Farms, Conn., Feb. 1945; The Hilla von 
Rebay Foundation. 



84 



32. Glimmering. July 1931 

Flimmern 

Handlist: vii 1931,435, Flimmern. 

The H ilia von Rebay Foundation 
1970.23 

Watercolour and coloured inks on paper, 
13V 2 x 13 3 / 4 " (34.2 x 34.8cm) 

Signed and dated 1. 1.: K/31 ; inscribed on 
reverse, probably not by the artist: 435. 

Provenance: 

Probst (HL); J.B. Neumann, New York, Feb. 
1936; Nierendorf Gallery, New York, by 1942; 
Hilla Rebay, Greens Farms, Conn., after 1945; 
The Hilla von Rebay Foundation. 



An interconnecting network of two triangles and 
nine rectangles is suspended, as if by marionette 
strings, against red, green and beige parallel 
bands. The light structure of the composition 
is complemented by the way the triangles dip 
gracefully downward. The grid-pattern scheme 
of "Glimmering" favours a lucid, graphic 
compositional approach. Such an approach is 
prominent in Kandinsky's oeuvre during the last 
years in Dessau, 1929 to 1932, and may reflect his 
close association with Klee, with whom he shared 
a double house in Dessau from 1926. 



86 





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33. Burdened. July 1931 

Belastet 

Handlist: vii 193 7, 439, Belastet (surcharge). 

The Hilla von Rebay Foundation 
1970.58 

Watercolour, India ink and pencil on paper, 
20V4X22V8" (51.3x56.1 cm.) 

Signed and dated 1. 1.: KB 1 ; inscribed on 
reverse, probably not by the artist: 
No 439 Ii93i T 'Belastet". 

Provenance: 

Probst (HL); J. B. Neumann, New York, Feb. 
1936; Nierendorf Gallery, New York, by 1942; 
purchased from Nierendorf by Hilla Rebay 
Greens Farms, Conn., Nov. 1944; The Hilla von 
Rebay Foundation. 



The small figure encased by a dome-shaped 
structure is, as the title implies, burdened by the 
disposition, weight and size of the surrounding 
forms. These include the hovering semicircular 
shapes, the two larger stick figures and the towering 
treelike form which looms menacingly above. 



88 



34. Bias. December 1931 

Neigung 

Handlist: xii 1931, 568, Neigung. 

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 
49.1176 

Oil and tempera on board, 27 V2 x 27V2" 

(70 x 70cm.) 

Signed and dated 1. 1.: KB 1 ; inscribed on 
reverse: K/No 568 H93H" Neigung" I 
70 x 70. 

Provenance: 

Calka Scheyer; Hildegarde Prytek, New York, 
1945-48; purchased from Prytek, 1949. 



A composition more fluid than rigid is diagonally 
divided into three areas with wavy edges. In the 
particular texture of paint on board and its use of 
colour transparencies, aquatic imagery and 
curvilinear, often parachutelike motifs, "Bias" boldly 
anticipates Kandinsky's later Paris style. 



90 



35. Dark Situation. July 1933 

Trube Lage 

Handlist: vii 1933, 517, Trube Lage (Trouble 
obscur). 

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 
Hilla Rebay Collection 

71.1936 R145 

Watercolour, gouache and pencil on paper, 
18 5 /s x 26 3 / 8 " (47.3 x 66.8cm) 

Signed and dated 1. 1.: K/33; inscribed on reverse 
mount: No 517 119331 "Trube Lage" I "Situation 
obscure". 



The two opaque black shapes resemble silhouettes 
of figures in profile, set against the almost 
monochromatic background of "Dark Situation". 
Transparent vertical rectangles stand like screens 
between the figures, separating and isolating 
them from one another. This sense of al ienation 
contributes to the sombre mood which permeates 
the watercolour. 

"Dark Situation" might aptly describe the 
circumstances of Kandinsky's life the month it was 
painted: following months of pressure from the 
Nazi Party, in July of 1933 the Bauhaus at Dessau 
finally closed. 



Provenance: 

J.B. Neumann, New York, Feb. 1936; 
Nierendorf Gallery, New York; Hilla Rebay, 
Greens Farms, Conn.; Estate of Hilla Rebay, 
1967-71. 



92 



36. Development Upwards. March 1934 

Montee gracieuse 

Handlist: /'/'/' 1934, 596, Montee gracieuse. 

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 

45.970 

Oil on canvas, 31 % x 31 3 A" (80.4 x 80.7cm) 

Signed and dated 1. 1.: K/34; inscribed on 
reverse: K/No. 596/1934/ "[De]veloppement en 
[haut]." 

Provenance: 

Purchased from the artist by Karl Nierendorf, 
New York, Sept. 1938 (HL); purchased from 
Nierendorf, 1945. 



"Development Upwards" dates to the first year of 
Kandinsky's Paris period (1934-44). Compositional 
elements evolved during the Lessau period are 
discernable in the Parisian oils; however, they are 
transformed into a new formal synthesis where 
delicate pastel colours and tectonic structures 
predominate. Oriented like rhythmic notations, 
curvilinear and geometric shapes are supported 
by light yet stable scaffolding. 



94 



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37. Double Affirmation. December 1934 

Double affirmation 

Handlist: xii 1934, 540, Double affirmation. 

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 
Hilla Rebay Collection 

71.1936R47 

India ink, gouache, watercolour and pencil 
on paper, 15V 8 x 22%" (39 x 57.3cm.) 

Signed and dated 1. 1.: K/34; inscribed on 
reverse: 540. 

Provenance: 

J. B. Neumann, New York, by 1937; Nierendorf 
Gallery, New York, by 1941 ; Hilla Rebay, 
Greens Farms, Conn., by 1945; Estate of Hilla 
Rebay, 1967-71. 



During the Paris years, Kandinsky commonly 
employed spatial ambiguity to animate his 
compositions. In "Double Affirmation" the open 
structure of the two curvilinear shapes effectively 
promotes tension and confusion between figural 
and background space. 



96 



38. Gridded. May 1935 

Grilles 

Handlist: v1935, 558, Grilles. 

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 
41.336 

Gouache and pencil on black paper, 
19 5 /8x12 5 / 8 "(50x32cm.) 

Signed and dated 1. 1.: K/35; inscribed on reverse 
mount: No558/i935 "Grilles" (Tempera). 

Provenance: 

J. B. Neumann, New York, Feb. 1936; Hilla 
Rebay, New York, May 1936 (HL); Solomon 
R. Guggenheim, New York, by 1937; Gift, 
Solomon R. Guggenheim, 1941. 



From the mid-thirties to the early forties, Kandinsky 
executed a number of works in gouache on black 
paper. Three typical examples are: "Gridded", 
"Rather Soft" and "Two Hooks". Each exploits the 
scintillating effect of lucid opaque white and patches 
of colour against a black background. As in the early 
lugendstil woodcuts, white functions as positive 
space and forms emerge from the black void. 

In the contrast to the basically geometric orientation 
of "Gridded" and "Two Hooks", "Rather Soft" stands 
apart in its combination of protoplasmic and 
hard-edged shapes. The architectonic structures 
of "Gridded" hover in space, while the curvilinear 
hooks at the upper left and lower right of "Two 
Hooks" seem to anchor the phalanx of rectangular 
forms, curtailing diagonal movement toward the 
upper right corner. 



98 



39. Green Accent. November 1935 

Accent vert 

Handlist: xi 1935, 623, Accent vert. 

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 
37.340 

Tempera and oil on canvas, 32 x 39 3 /a" 
(81.1 x 100.2cm.) 

Signed and dated 1. 1.: K/35; inscribed on 
reverse: K/No 623119351 "Accent Vert". 



The large dark green form in "Green Accent" 
synthesizes mechanical and zoomorphic references. 
The graphically rendered, incised white lines suggest 
a blueprint for a technological invention, or, 
alternatively, the skeletal structure of a protoplasmic 
organism. Kandinsky considered green the "most 
restful" of colours and described it as having a 
"passive" effect. 



Provenance: 

Purchased from the artist by Solomon 
R. Guggenheim, New York, July 1936; 
Gift, Solomon R. Guggenheim, 1937. 



100 



40. Rather Soft. June 1936 

Assez mou 

Handlist: vi 1936, 568, Assez mou. 

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 
Hilla Rebay Collection 

71.1936 R143 

Gouache on black paper, 19 3 /s x 13%" 
(49.2 x 34.5cm.) 

Signed and dated 1. 1.: K/36; inscribed on reverse 
mount: No 568/i936 "Assez mou". 

Provenance: 

Jeanne Bucher (HL); Hilla Rebay; Greens 
Farms, Conn., Estate of Hilla Rebay, 1967-71 . 



102 



41 . Yellow Canvas. July 1938 

La Toile jaune 

Handlist: vii 1938, 653, La Toile jaune. 

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 
45.964 

Oil and enamel on canvas, 45% x 35" 
(1 16.4 x 88.8cm.) 

Signed and dated 1. 1.: K/38; inscribed on 
reverse: K/No 653 H938. 

Provenance: 

Purchased from the artist by Karl Nierendorf, 
New York, Sept. 1938 (HL); purchased from 
Nierendorf, 1945. 



"Yellow Canvas" is one of Kandinsky's more 
whimsical paintings. The use of bright, gay 
colour is well suited to the playful arrangement 
of checkerboard patterns. As Rose Carol Washton 
has observed, a harlequinlike figure, poised on one 
leg and balancing a tray of boxes on its head, seems 
to emerge from the inventively manipulated colour 
and form. 



104 



42. Two Hooks. April 1939 

Deux accrocs 

Handlist: iv 1939, 622, Deux accrocs. 

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 
48.1172x99 

Gouache on black paper, 19% x 15%" 
(49.3x39.1 cm) 

Signed and dated 1. 1.: K/39; inscribed on reverse 

mount: No 6221 19391 "Deux accrocs". 

Provenance: 

Purchased from the artist by Nierendorf, 
June 1939; Estate of Karl Nierendorf, 1948. 



106 



43. Various Actions. August - September 
1941 

(Actions variees) 

Handlist: vii-ix 1941 , 683, Actions variees. 

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 
47.1159 

Oil and enamel on canvas, 3514 x 45 3 A" (89.2 x 
116.1cm.) 

Signed and dated 1. 1.: K/41 ; inscribed on 
reverse: Kl No 683/ 1941. 



Protoplasmic and geometric forms float in murky 
green gray space which is enlivened by the 
syncopated rhythm of brightly coloured triangular 
and rectangular specks. As the title suggests, 
movement of the compositional elements is 
multidirectional. In these late works, Kandinsky's 
concern with elements associated with the origin of 
life, articulated earlier in Point and Line to Plane, is 
now given full pictorial expression. 



Provenance 

Purchased from the artist by Galerie Rene 
Drouin Paris, May 194? (HL); J. B. Neumann, 
New York, by 1947; purchased from Neumann, 
1947. 



108 



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44. Untitled. (No. 71 5) 1941 

Handlist: 1941,715. 

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 
Hilla Rebay Collection 
71.1936 R82 

Gouache on gray paper mounted on board, 
18% x 12%" (47.9x31 .5cm) 

Signed and dated 1. 1.: K/4i; inscribed on reverse 
mount: No 7i5/i94i. 

Provenance: 

Hilla Rebay, Greens Farms, Conn.; Estate of 
Hilla Rebay, 1967-71. 



The light, pastel tonality and graphic approach of 
"Untitled (No. 71 5)" is appropriate to the lyricism 
of this gouache. Images, both decorative and 
protoplasmic in appearance, recall air balloons. 
The theme of floating is repeated in the two 
latticepatterned motifs which are reminiscent 
of box kites and the snakelike forms below. 



110 



45. Twilight. June 1943 

Crepuscule 

Handlist: vi 1943, 720, Crepuscule. 
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 
49.1223 

Oil on board, 22% x Wh" (41 .8 x 57.6cm) 
Signed and dated 1. 1.: K/43; inscribed on 
reverse: K/No 7201 1943/58 x 42. 

Provenance: 

Purchased from Nina Kandinsky Paris, 1949. 



The darkened palette and sombre mood of 
"Twilight" represent a departure from the style 
of Kandinsky's early Paris works. By this time, the 
anthropomorphic figure, composed of a trunk and 
head, and the flagellate, snake and parachute forms 
have become familiar images. Texture gains in 
importance: here paint is used to create a stoney 
primitive ground for the enigmatic figures. 
Because of the wartime shortage of canvas and 
paints, many works dating to the last four years of 
Kandinsky's life are small and painted on board. 



112 



Chronology 



1866 

December 4 

Vasilii Vasilievich Kandinsky born in Moscow to Vasilii, a tea merchant, 

and Lidia Tikheeva Kandinsky. 

1869 

Travels to Italy with parents. 

1871 

Family moves to Odessa. Parents are divorced. 

1876 

Attends Gymnasium where he learns to play piano and cello. First of 
yearly trips, made until 1885, to Moscow with father. 

1886 

Studies economics and law at University of Moscow. 

1889 

May28-)une30 

Makes expedition to Vologda province sponsored by Society of Natural 

Science and Anthropology. 

Subsequently publishes two articles on tribal religion and peasant law. 

Visits Hermitage in St. Petersburg where he is most impressed by 

Rembrandt's work. 

Travels to Paris to see World's Fair. 

1891 

Sees one of Monet's Haystacks at French Industrial and Art Exhibition 

in Moscow. 

1892 

Completes university studies and passes law examination. 
Marries cousin Ania Shemiakina. 
Second trip to Paris. 

1893 

Writes dissertation "On the Legality of Laborer's Wages". 

Appointed teaching assistant at Faculty of Law, University of Moscow. 

1895 

Becomes artistic director of Kusnerev printing firm in Moscow. Designs 

covers for chocolate boxes. 

1896 

Declines teaching position at University of Dorpat; instead moves to 

Munich to study painting. Lives at Friedrichstrasse 1 until September 30, 

1904. 

1897 

Studies with Anton Azbe for two years. Meets Alexej Jawlensky and 

Marianne von Werefkin. 

1900 

Student of Franz von Stuck at Academy in Munich. Meets Ernst Stern. 
Alexander von Salzmann, Albert Weisgerber and Hans Purrmann. 
Participates in Moscow Association of Artists annual; shows with them 
yearly until 1908. 

1901 

April 

His "Kritka kritikov" ("A Criticism of Critics") published in Novosti dnia, 

Moscow. 

Co-founds Phalanx exhibition society in Munich; becomes its president 

later this year. 

August 1 5-November 

First Phalanx exhibition. Eleven more are held until 1904. 

Phalanx an school established; Kandinsky teaches drawing and painting 

there. 

1902 

Meets Cabriele Munter, a student in his painting class. 

Reviews contemporary art scene in Munich, "Korrespondentsiia iz 

Miunkhena" ("Correspondence from Munich"), for periodical Mir 

Iskusstva, St. Petersburg. 

Spring 

First participation in Berlin Secession. 

Summer 

Friendship with Hermann Obrist. 

1903 

April-June 

Visits Vienna, Ansbach and Nurnberg with Munter. 

Stops teaching; Phalanx school closes. 



September-October 

Travels to Venice and Vienna en route to Odessa and Moscow. Returns to 

Germany at end of month. 

1904 

January 

Friendship with Alfred Kubin. 

Works on theory of colours. 

May-June 

Visits The Netherlands with Munter. 

Participates in Munich Kunstverein exhibition. 

Makes craft designs for the Vereinigung fur angewandte Kunst (Society 

for Applied Art), Munich. 

Late August 

Bicycle trip to Partenkirchen through Murnau and Oberammergau. 

September 

Separates from wife. 

October-November 

Visits Frankfurt, Kreuznach and Munster with Munter. Stops in Berlin on 

way to and from Odessa, where he spends one month. 

Participates in Salon d'Automne, Paris; exhibits there yearly until 1910. 

November 27-December 2 

Travels to Paris, visits Cologne and Bonn. 

Participates in inaugural exhibition ofl.es Tendances Nouvelles, Paris: 

beginning of association with this group. 

Last Phalanx exhibition; by year's end association dissolves. 

Kandinsky's Stikhi bez slov (Poetry without Words) woodcuts, published 

in Moscow. 

Participates in first exhibition of New Society of Artists, St. Petersburg, 

and Association of South Russian Artists exhibition, Odessa; shows with 

latter five times, until 1909. 

December 1904-April 1905 

Travels in Tunisia with Munter. 

1905 

April-May 

Travels through Italy on return trip to Munich. 

Participates in Salon des Independants, Paris. 

Joins Deutscher Kijnstlerbund. 

Elected to jury of Salon d'Automne, Paris. 

Awarded medal by X// e Exposition du Travail, Paris. 

November 

Travels through Vienna, Budapest and Lemberg en route to Odessa. 

Also visits Cologne, Dusseldort, Bonn, Liege and Brussels. 

December 9-22 

Travels in Italy. 

December 23, 1905-Apnl 1906 

Lives at 24 via Montebello, Rapallo. 

1906 

May 

Travels through Italy and Switzerland en route to Paris. 

June 

Lives at 12, rue des Ursulines, Paris. At end of month moves to 4, petite 

rue des Binelles, Sevres, where he lives for one year. 

Joins Union Internationale des Beaux-Arts et des Lettres, Paris. 

Fall 

Sees major Gauguin retrospective at Grand Palais, Paris. 

Awarded Grand Prix of L Exposition Internationale de Paris. 

Participates in Galerie Wertheim, Berlin, and Berlin Secession 

exhibitions and Exhibition of Signs and Posters, Moscow. 

1906-1907 

Wnter 

Participates in Brucke exhibition, Dresden. 

1907 

Spring 

Large one-man exhibition at Les Tendances Nouvelles, Angers. 

lune 

Returns to Munich. 

Late June-July 

Rest cure at Bad Reichenhall. 

August 

Spends three weeks in Switzerland with Munter. 

September 1907-April 1908 

Lives in Berlin. 



114 



1908 

May 

Hikes in South Tyrol, stays in Lana. 

|une 

Returns to Munich. Visits Starnberger See and Stattelsee. 

Summer 

First sojourn in Murnau: spends summer with Munter, Jawlensky and 

VVerefkin at Griesbrau Inn. 

Fall 

Moves to Ainmillerstrassr id in Schwabing district of Munich. 

Meets Thomas von Hartmann in Munich. 

Begins Klange prose poems, which he continues to write until 1913. 

Buys two Henri Rousseau paintings. 

1909 

January 

He co-founds Neue Kunstlervereinigung Munchen (NKVM) in Munich 

and is elected its president. 

First Improvisations. 

Munter acquires house in Murnau; she and Kandinsky often stay here 

until outbreak of World War I. 

Summer 

In Murnau. 

HisXy/ograph/es, woodcuts, published in Paris bytes Tendances 

Nouvelles. 

October 

His reviews, "Pismo iz Miunkhena" ("Letter from Munich"), published in 

periodical Apollon, St. Petersburg; these continue to appear for one year. 

Begins writing abstract stage compositions Der ge/be Klang, Gruner 

Klang and Schwarz und Weiss (The Yellow Sound, Creen Sound and 

Black and White). 

Meets Arnold Schonberg at Tegernsee. 

Participates in Second All-Russian Congress of Artiste and Sergei 

Makovsky's Salon, both in St. Petersburg. 

December 1-15 

First NKVM exhibition, Thannhauser's Moderne Galerie, Munich. 

December 17, 1909-February 6, 1910 

Participates in Vladimir Izdebsky's Salon, Odessa, which travels to Kiev, 

St. Petersburg and Riga during 1910. 

1910 

First Compositions. 

Completes manuscript of Uber das Ceistige in der Kunst (Concerning the 

Spiritual in Art). 

Meets Franz Marc and August Macke at Thannhauser's gallery. Invites 

David and Vladimir Burliuk to participate in second NKVM exhibition, 

Munich. 

Spring and Summer 

Sojourns in Murnau. 

October-December 

Visits Weimar and Berlin en route to Russia where he spends time in 

St. Petersburg, Moscow and Odessa. Returns to Munich at end of year. 

Wnter 1910-1911 

Participates in lack of Diamonds exhibition, Moscow. 

1911 

lanuary 

Shows fifty-two works at Izdebsky's second Salon, Odessa. Catalogue 

includes his essay "Soderzhanie i forma" ("Content and Form"). 

Resigns NKVM presidency. 

February 9. 

His essay "Kuda idet 'novoe' iskusstvo" ("Whither the New Art") 

published in periodical Odesskie novosti . 

May 17-19 

Visits Marc in Sindelsdorf; returns in October. 

Summer 

In Murnau. 

Begins plans with Marc for 8/aue Reiter almanac. 

Divorce from Ania Shemiakina finalized. 

Fall 

Meets Paul Klee and Robert Delaunay. Friendships with Hans Arp, 

Heinrich Campendonk and Karl Wolfskehl. 

December 2 

Kandinsky, Marc, Munter and Kubin leave NKVM after jury rejects 

Kandinsky's Composition V. 

December 18 

First Blaue Reiter exhibition opens at Thannhauser's Moderne Calerie, 

Munich. 



December 

Uber das Ceistige in der Kunst published in Munich. 

Russian version of text presented as lecture on Kandinsky's behalf by 

Nikolai Kulbin at Ail-Russian Congress of Artists, St. Petersburg, at end 

of month. 

Writes abstrac t stage composition Violett and essay "Uber 

Buhnenkomposition" ("On Stage ( (imposition"). 

1912 

February 

Second Blaue Reiter exhibition opens at Galerie Hans Goltz, Munich. 

Spring 

8/aue Reiter almanac and second edition of Uber das Ceistige in der 

Kunst published in Munich. 

Late June-July 

Stays in Murnau. 

July 7-31 

Participates in Moderner Bund exhibition, Zurich. 

August 16-17 

Michael Sadler visits Kandinsky in Murnau. 

October 2-30 

First one-man exhibition in Berlin at Galerie Der Sturm. 

Fall 

Meets Hugo Ball in Munich. 

Third edition of Uber das Geistige in der Kunst published. 

October 16-December 13 

Travels in Russia, stays in Odessa and Moscow. On return stops in Berlin. 

December 10 

Kurdibowsky presents Kandinsky's art theories in lecture at meeting of 

Society of Painters, St. Petersburg. 

1913 

February 17-March 15 

Shows one work, Improvisation 27 (Garden of Love), at Armory Show, 

New York, which travels to Chicago and Boston. Alfred Stieglitz 

purchases the painting. 

Kandinsky, Erich Heckel, Klee, Oskar Kokoschka, Kubin and Marc plan 

to collaborate on Bible illustrations. 

July 7-September 6 

Trip to Moscow via Berlin. 

Fall 

Kandinsky's Klange, prose poems and woodcuts, and "Ruckblicke", 

autobiographical essay published in Munich. 

September 20-December 1 

Participates in Herwarth Walden's Erster Deutscher Herbstsalon at 

Galerie Der Sturm, Berlin. 

1914 

January 

Invited to lecture at opening of one-man exhibition atKreis fur Kunst, 

Cologne. Submits manuscript but does not deliver lecture. 

April 9-20 

Visits his mother in Merano, Italy. 

April 23 

English edition of Uber das Geistige in der Kunst published in London 

and Boston; Russian edition published in Petrograd. 

Kandinsky's letters to Arthur Jerome Eddy published in Eddy's book 

Cubists and Post Impressionists in Chicago. 

For Edwin A. Campbell, New York, executes four mural panels, two of 

which are now in Guggenheim Museum Collection. 

Second edition oi Blaue Reiter almanac published in Munich. 

August 3 

After outbreak of World War I leaves Murnau with Munter for 

Switzerland. 

August 6-November 16 

Stays in Manahalde near Boldach on Lake Constance, Switzerland. 

Begins work on manuscript Punkt und Lime zu Fl'ache (Point and Line 

to Plane). 

December 

Returns to Russia, travelling through Zurich and across Balkans. 

1915 

January-April 

Lives in Moscow after one-week stay in Odessa. 

Executes no oil paintings this year. 

April 

Participates in Exhibition of Painting, 1915, Moscow; also shows 

in Petrograd. 



115 



May 

Spends three weeks in Odessa. 

August 19-September 7 

Visits Crimea. 

December 23, 1915-March 1916 

To Stockholm, where he meets Munter for the last time for Christmas; he 

remains there until March. 

1916 

Kandmsky publishes "Konsten utan amne" ("Non-representational Art" I 

in Konst 5 and Om Konstnaren (On the Artist) as pamphlet in Stockholm. 

March 17 

Calerie Dada (formerly Galerie Corray), Zurich, opens with exhibition of 

works by Kandinsky and others. 

Leaves Stockholm for Moscow via Petrograd. 

)une 

His poems published in Cabaret Voltaire, Zurich. 

Summer 

Remains in Moscow with visits to Odessa and Kiev. 

Meets Nina von Andreewsky late in year. 

1917 

February 1 1 

Marries Nina von Andreewsky. Until December 1921 they live at 

1 Dolgy Street, Moscow. 

Trip to Finland. 

April 14,17 

Hugo Ball reads three poems by Kandinsky and lectures on the artist at 

Calerie Dada, Zurich. 

1918 

Named member of Visual Arts Section (IZO) of Commissariat for Cultural 

Progress (NARKOMPROS) in Moscow. 

July 

Becomes director of theatre and film sections of Commissariat and the 

editor of Moscow journal Izobrazitelnoe tskusstvo. 

Executes designs for porcelain manufacture in Leningrad. 

October 

Becomes head of a studio at Moscow Svomas (Free State Art Studios), an 

innovative school where Antoine Pevsner and Kazimir Malevich are 

teaching. 

Helps organize twenty-two provincial museums. 

Meets Vladimir Tatlin and sees his work. 

Russian edition of "Ruckblicke", "Tekst khudozhnika, published in 

Moscow. 

1919 

Helps establish Institute of Artistic Culture (Inkhuk) and Museum of 

Pictorial Culture in Moscow. 

Kandinsky's "O stsenicheskoi kompo zitsii" (On Stage Composition) 

published in Izobrazitelnoe iskusstvo, "Ovelikoi utopii" ("On the Great 

Utopia") in Khudozhestvennaiazhizn and "Selbstcharakteristik" 

(Sell-Characterization") in Das Kunstblatt. 

1920 

Meets Naum Cabo and Marc Chagall. 

Named Honorary Professor at University of Moscow. 

One-man exhibition, organized by state, in Moscow. 

Participates in Societe Anonyme exhibition, New York. 

1921 

September 

Founds Russian Academy of Artistic Sciences (RAKhN), Moscow, and 

becomes its vice-president. 

Exhibits in Hannover, Cologne and, for the last time, in Moscow. 

Late December. 

To Berlin where he meets Lyonel Feininger. 

1922 

Paints murals for luryfreie exhibition in Berlin. 

March 

Walter Cropius offers Kandinsky professorship at Weimar Bauhaus. 

lune 

Moves to Weimar. First teaches life class, subsequently becomes deputy 

director of mural painting workshop at Bauhaus. 

September 

Vacations with Feininger at Cropius' mother's house in Timmendorfer 

Strand on Baltic Sea. 

Kleine We/ten (Small Worlds), portfolio of graphic works, published in 

Berlin. 



1923 

March 23-May 4 

First one-man exhibition in New York at Societe Anonyme, of which he 

becomes vice-president; he forms close association with Katherine 

Dreier. 

Fall 

Lives in Sudstrasse, Weimar. 

1924 

March 

8/aue Vier (Blue Four) - Feininger, lawlensky, Kandinsky and Klee- is 

formed by Calka Scheyer who becomes Kandinsky's representative in 

United States. 

Vacations in Wennigstedt on North Sea. 

1925 

April 1 

Bauhaus at Weimar closes. 

June 

Moves to Dessau where Bauhaus is relocated. 

Summer 

Vacations in Binz auf Rugen. 

Otto Raits forms Kandinsky Cesellschait of German art collectors. 

November 

Completes Punkt und Linie zu Flache. "Abstrakte Kunst" published in 

Der Cicerone. 

1926 

Punkt und Linie zu Flache published in Munich. 

Klee and Kandinsky occupy double house at Moltkestrasse 6 and 7, 

Dessau. Father dies in Odessa. 

May 

Kandinsky's sixtieth birthday exhibition opens in Braunschweig, travels 

to Berlin, Dresden, Dessau and other European cities. 

Summer 

Vacations in Bad Muritz on Baltic Sea. 

November 

Participates in An International Exhibition oi Modern Art organized by 

Societe Anonyme at The Brooklyn Museum. 

December 

Bauhaus periodical Bauhaus Zeitschrift fur Cestaltung established; 

Kandinsky is co-editor until 1931. 

1927 

Summer 

Vacations in Austria and Switzerland, visiting with Schonbergs at 

Worthersee. 

Max Bill visits Bauhaus. 

1928 

March 

Kandinskys become German citizens. 

April 

Designs sets for and directs Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition, 

performed at Friedrich-Theater, Dessau. 

Kandinsky's "Kunstpadagogik" ("Teaching of Art") published in Bauhaus 

magazine. Meets RudolfBauer in Berlin. 

Cesar Domela visits Kandinsky at 8auhaus. 

Summer 

Vacations on French Riviera. 

1929 

lanuary 

First one-man exhibition in Paris at Galerie Zak. 

Meets Hilla Rebay in Dessau. 

Marcel Duchamp visits Kandinsky in Dessau. 

Summer 

Vacations in Belgium and visits )ames Ensor in Ostend. 

1930 

lanuary-April 

Invited to collaborate on Cercle et Carre periodical; participates in 

group's exhibition in Paris. 

Meets lean Helion and San Lazzaro. 

Summer 

Visits Paris, Cattolica, Verona, Bologna, Urbino, Ravenna and Venice; is 

particularly impressed by mosaics in Ravenna. 

One-man exhibition in Paris, Saarbrucken, Krefeld, Dusseldorf and Kiel. 



116 



1931 

Designs ceramic tile, for Mies van der Rohe music room in architei tural 

exhibition, Berlin. 

( )ffered teaching position at Art Students League, New York. 

Ma\ 26 

Visits Klee in Worlitz. 

Summer 

Visits i i;\pt. s\n.i rurkev. Greece and Italy on Mediterranean cruise 

I all 

"Reflections sur I'art abstrait" published in Cahiers d'Art, his first 

contribution to this magazine. 

His Paul Klee" published in Bauhaus magazine on occasion of Klee's 

resignation from faculty. 

1932 

August 22 

National Socialist Party decrees dissolution of Dessau Bauhaus, effective 

October 1 . 

October 

Bauhaus moves to outskirts of Berlin and operates as a private institute. 

December 10 

Moves to Bahnstrasse 19, Berlin-Sudende, where he lives for the 

next year. 

1933 

)uly 20 

Bauhaus finally closes. 

Summer 

Vacations at Les Sablettes, near Toulon, France. 

September 

Moves to Hotel des Saints-Peres, Paris. Visits Georges Braque's studio. 

He is guest of honour in Surrealist group exhibition at Salon des 

Surindependants, Paris. 

October-November 

Two brief visits to Berlin. 

December 

Moves to sixth-floor apartment at 135 boulevard de la Seine 

(now General Koenig), Neuilly-sur- Seine. 

1934 

Meets Piet Mondrian and loan Miro. Friendships with Pevsner, Arp and 

Albedo Magnelli. 

lune 

Visits Man Ray and Constantin Brancusi. Max Ernst visits him. 

Participates in Abstraction-Creation, Paris, and Minotaur, Brussels, 

exhibitions. 



1935 

February-March 

Participates in These- Antithese-Synthese exhibition, Lucerne. 

Summer 

Vacations in Italy. 

Exhibits with Max Weber and Klee at |.B. Neumann's New Art Circle, 

New York, First exhibition with Neumann who becomes his 

representative in eastern United States in July 

August 

Vacations in Normandy and on French Riviera. 

1936 

Participates in Abstract and Concrete, Lefevre Gallery, London and 

Cubism and Abstract Art, The Museum of Modern Art, New York. 

Kandinsky's memoir on Marc published in Cahiers d'Art. 

Vacations in Italy. 

Summer 

Kandinsky's works designated Entartete Kunst (degenerate art) and many 

are confiscated by Nazis. 

Included in Entartete Kunst exhibition, Munich. 

Vacations in Switzerland, visits Klee in Bern. Goes to Brittany. 

1938 

Kandinsky's "L'Art Concret", published in first issue of XX e Siecle. 

Summer 

Vacations on French Riviera. 

1939 

Kandinskys becomes French citizens. 

Discusses proposed multi-media ballet with Leonide Massine. 

1940 

Summer 

Spends two months in Pyrennees after German invasion of France. 

On return to Neuilly visits with FernandLegerin Vichy. 

1941 

Declines two invitations to come to United States. 

1944 

Plans a film comedy and a ballet, for which he would design sets and 

von Hartmann would compose music. 

Becomes ill but continues to work until |une. 

November 7 

Last one-man exhibition during his lifetime opens at Galerie Esquisse, 

Paris. 

December 13 

Dies in Neuilly from a sclerosis in cerebellum. 

Susan Alyson Stein 



117 



Bibliography 



1 . By Kandinsky 

Ober das Ceistige in der Kunst. Insbesondere in der Malerei, 
Munich, Jan. 1912. Second edition Apr. 1912. Third edition 
1912. Preferred English translation: Concerning the Spiritual in 
Art and Painting in Particular, New York, Wittenborn, Schultz, 
1947. Includes the artist's 1914 additions 

Der Blaue Reiter, edited by Kandinsky and Franz Marc, 
Munich, Piper, 1912. Second edition 1914. Documentary 
edition in English translation by Klaus Lankheit: The Blaue 
Reiter Almanac, New York, Viking, 1974. Kandinsky's 
contributions include: "Eugen Kahler", "On the Question 
of Form", "On Stage Composition" and "The Yellow Sound, 
A Stage Composition" 

Kl'ange, Munich, Piper, 1913. 38 prose poems and 

56 woodcuts. English translation by Elizabeth R. Napier: 

Sounds, New Haven and London. Yale University Press, 1981 

"Riickblicke", Kandinsky, 1901-1913, Berlin, Der Sturm. 1913. 
Preferred English translation: "Reminiscences" in Modern 
Artists on Art, edited by Robert. L. Herbert, Englewood Cliffs, 
New Jersey, Prentice Hall, 1964, pp. 19-44 

Om Konstn'aren, Stockholm, Konsthandels, 1916. English 
translation: "On the Artist", Artforum, vol. XI, Mar. 1973, 
pp. 76-78 

Tekst Khudozhnika, Moscow, 1918. Second version of 
"Riickblicke". English translation: "Text Artista", In Memory of 
Wassily Kandinsky, edited by Hilla Rebay, New York, Museum 
of Non-Objective Painting, 1945 

Punkt und Linie zu FTache: Beitrag zur Analyse der malenschen 
Elemente, Munich, Laugen, 1926. English translation: Point 
and Line to Plane: Contribution to the Analysis of the Pictorial 
Elements, New York, Museum of Non-Objective Painting, 
1947. Reprinted by Dover Publications, New York, 1979 

For Kandinsky's collected writings see: 

Kandinsky: Essays uber Kunst and Kunstler, Max Bill, ed., 
Stuttgart, 1955. Contains most of Kandinsky's articles published 
between 1912 and 1943 

Wassily Kandinsky: Ecrits complets, Philippe Sers, ed., Paris, 
Denoel-Gonthier, vol. 2, 1970; vol. 3, 1975; vol. 1 in preparation 

Wassily Kandinsky: Tutti gli scritti, Philippe Sers, ed., Milan, 
Feltrinelli, vol. 1, 1973; vol.2, 1974 

Kandinsky: Die Cesammelten Schriften, Hans K. Roethel and 
Jelena Hahl-Koch, eds., Bern, Beneli Verlag, vol. 1 , 1980 

Wassily Kandinsky: Complete Writings on Art, Kenneth C. 
Lindsay and Peter Vergo, eds., in preparation 

2. On Kandinsky 

"Fur Kandinsky", Der Sturm, vol. Ill, Mar. 1913, pp. 277-279, 
288; vol. IV, Nov. 1913, pp. 3, 5-6 

Franz Marc, "Kandinsky", Der Sturm, vol. IV, Nov. 1913, p. 130 

Edward Wadsworth, "Inner necessity", Blast, no. I, June 20, 
1914, pp. 119-125 

Paul Fechter, Der Expressionismus, Munich, 1914 

Herbert Kuhn, "Kandinsky: I. Fur", Das Kunstblatt, vol. Ill, 
1919, p. 178; Willi Wolfradt, "II. Wider. (Die Kunst und das 
Absolut)", pp. 180-183 



Konstantin Umanskij, "Russland IV: Kandinskij's Rolle im 
russischen Kunstleben", Der Ararat, Jg. II, May-June 1920 
(Sonderheft), pp. 28-30 

Hugo Zehder, Wassily Kandinsky: Unter autorisierter 
Benutzung der russischen Selbstbiographie, Dresden, 1920 

Will Crohmann, "Wassily Kandinsky", Der Cicerone, Jg. XVI, 
Sept. 1924, pp. 887-898 

Will Crohmann, "Wassily Kandinsky", Cahiers d'Art, annee4, 
1929, pp. 322-329 

Will Crohmann, Wassily Kandinsky, Paris, 1930 

Christian Zervos, "Notes sur Kandinsky", Cahiers d'Art, 
annee9, 1934, pp. 149-157 

Meyer Schapiro, "Nature of Abstract Art", Marxist Quarterly, 
vol. I, Jan.-Mar. 1937, pp. 77-98 

Hilla Rebay, ed., In Memory of Wassily Kandinsky, Museum of 
Non-Objective Painting, New York, 1945, exh. cat. 

Max Bill, "Die mathematische Denkweise in der Kunst unserer 
Zeit", Werk, Jg. 36, Mar. 1949, pp. 86-91 

Carola Ciedion-Welcker, "Kandinskys Malerei als Ausdruck 
eines geistigen Universalismus", Werk, Jg. 37, Apr. 1950, 
pp. 119-123 

Max Bill, ed., Wassily Kandinsky, Boston, 1951 

Kenneth C. Lindsay, An Examination of the Fundamental 
Theories of Wassily Kandinsky, Ph.D. dissertation, University 
of Wisconsin, 1951 

Kenneth C. Lindsay, "The Genesis and Meaning of the Cover 
Design for the First Blaue Reiter Exhibition Catalogue", 
Art Bulletin, vol. XXXV, Mar. 1953, pp. 47-52 

Will Crohmann, "Le Cavalier Bleu", rOe/7, no. 9, Sept. 1955, 
pp. 4-13 

Klaus Brisch, Wassily Kandinsky, Untersuchungen zur 
Entstehung der gegenstandslosen Malerei an seinem Werk von 
1900-1921, Ph.D. dissertation, University of Bonn, 1955 

Werner Hofmann, "Studien zur Kunsttheorie des 20. 
Jahrhunderts", Zeitschrift fur Kunstgeschichte, Jan. 1956, 
pp. 136-150 

Herbert Read, "An Art of Internal Necessity", Quadrum, no. I, 
May 1956, pp. 7-22 

Lorenz Eitner, "Kandinsky in Munich", The Burlington 
Magazine, vol. XCIX, June 1957, pp. 192-1 97, 199 

Peter Selz, "The Aesthetic Theories of Wassily Kandinsky and 
their Relationship to the Origin of Non-objective Painting", 
Art Bulletin, vol. XXXIX, June 1957, pp. 127-136 

Johannes Eichner, Kandinsky und Cabriele Miinter vor 
ursprungen Moderner Kunst, Munich, 1957 

Will Crohmann, Wassily Kandinsky, Life and Work, New 
York, 1958 

Kenneth C. Lindsay, "Wassily Kandinsky, life and work, by Will 
Grohmann", Art Bulletin, vol. XLI, Dec. 1959, pp. 348-350 

Herbert Read, Kandinsky 1866-1944, London, 1959 

Jean Cassou, Wassily Kandinsky: Interferences, aquarelles et 
dessins, Cologne, 1960 



Marcel Brion, Kandinsky, London. 1%1 

L. D. Ettlinger, "Kandinsky's 'At Rest'", in Charlton Lectures on 
Art at King's College, London, 1961 , pp. 3-2 1 

Peter Fingesten, "Spirituality, Mysticism and Non-objective 
Art", Art Journal, vol. XXI, Fall 1961, pp. 2-6 

Clement Creenberg, "Kandinsky", in Art and Culture, Boston, 
1961, pp. 111-114' 

Will Crohmann, "Art into Architecture: The Bauliaus Ethos", 
Apollo, no. 76, Mar. 1962, pp. 37-41 

Daniel Robbins, "Vasily Kandinsky: Abstraction and Image", 
Art journal, vol. XXII, Spring 1963, pp. 145-147 

Paul Overy "The Later Painting of Wassily Kandinsky", Apollo, 
no. 78, Aug. 1963, pp. 117-123 

Eberhard Roters, "Wassily Kandinsky und die Cestalt des 
Blauen Reiters" , jahrbuch der Berliner Museen, Band V, 1963, 
pp. 201-226 

Vas/7y Kandinsky, 1866-1944: A Retrospective Exhibition, New 
York, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 1963, exh. cat. 
Essays by Kenneth C. Lindsay and H. K. Rothel 

L. D. Ettlinger, "Kandinsky", /.'Oe/7, no. 114, June 1964, 
pp. 10-17,50 

lacques Lassaigne, Kandinsky - Bibliographical and Critical 
Study, Geneva, 1964 

Troels Andersen, "Some Unpublished Letters by Kandinsky", 
Artes, vol. II, Oct. 1966, pp. 90-1 10 

"Centenairede Kandinsky", XX 1 ' Siecle, no. XXVII, Dec. 1966. 
Special issue 

Sixten Ringbom, "Art in 'The Epoch of the Great Spiritual': 
Occult Elements in the Early Theory of Abstract Painting", 
journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, vol. XXIX, 
1966, pp. 386-418 

Vas/7y Kandinsky Painting on Glass (Hinterglasmalerei): 
Anniversary Exhibition, New York, The Solomon R. 
Guggenheim Museum, 1966, exh. cat. Essay by 
Hans Konrad Rothel 

Marisa Volpi Orlandini, Kandinsky: Dall'art nouveau alia 
psicologia della forma, Rome, 1968 

Rose-Carol Washton, Vasily Kandinsky, 1909-13: Painting and 
Theory, Ph.D. dissertation, Yale University, 1968 

Kandinsky: Parisian Period 1934-1944, New York, M. Knoedler 
and Co., Inc., 1969, exh. cat. Essays by Gaetan Picon, 
Rose-Carol Washton, Nina Kandinsky 

Paul Overy, Kandinsky: The Language of the Eye, New York, 
1969 

Robert Welsh, "Abstraction and the Bauhaus", Artforum, 
vol. VIII, Mar. 1970, pp. 46-51 

Donald B. Kuspit, "Utopian Protest in Early Abstract Art", 
Art journal, vol. XXIX, Summer 1970, pp. 430-437 

Sixten Ringbom, The Sounding Cosmos: A Study in the 
Spiritualism of Kandinsky and the Genesis of Abstract Painting, 
Abo, 1970 

Hans K. Roethel, Kandinsky: Das graphische Werk, Cologne, 
1970 



Rose-Carol Washton Long, "Kandinsky and Abstrac tion: 
The Role of the Hidden Image", Artforum, vol. X, )una1972, 
pp. 42-49 

Kandinsky at the Guggenheim Museum. Vasily Kandinsky, 
1866-1944 in the Collection of The Solomon R. Guggenheim 
Museum, New York, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 
1972, exh. cat. 

Rosel Gollek, Der Blaue Reiter in Lenbachhaus M'unchen. 
Katalogue der Sammlung in der Stadtischen Galerie, 
Munich, 1974 

Erika Hanfstaengl, Wassily Kandinsky, Zeichnungen und 
Aquarelle. Katalog der Sammlung in der Stadtischen Galerie im 
Lenbachhaus Munchen. Munich, 1974 

Pierre Volboudt, Die Zeichnungen Wassily Kandinskys, 
Cologne, 1974 

Jonathan Fineberg, Kandinsky in Paris 1906-7, Ph.D. 
dissertation, Harvard University, May 1975 

Rose-Carol Washton Long, "Kandinsky's Abstract Style: 
The Veiling of Apocalyptic Folk Imagery", Art journal, 
vol. XXXIV, Spring 1975, pp. 217-228 

Clark V Poling, Bauhaus Color, The High Museum of Art, 
Atlanta, 1975, exh. cat. 

Jelena Hahl, "Abstraction et musique atonale: Kandinsky et 
Schonberg", L'Oeil, no. 250, May 1976, pp. 24-27, 64 

Nina Kandinsky, Kandinsky und ich, Munich, 1976 

Angelica Zander Rudenstine, The Guggenheim Museum 
Collection: Paintings 1880-1945, New York, 1976, vol. I, 
pp. 204-391 

Wassily Kandinsky a Munich: Collection Stadtische Galerie im 
Lenbachhaus, Bordeaux, 1976, exh. cat. Essays by Armin 
Zweite, Rosel Gollek, Hans Konrad Roethel, Jelena Hahl-Koch, 
Michel Hoog 

Wassily Kandinsky 1866-1944, Munich, Hausder Kunst, 1977, 
exh. cat. 

Hans K. Roethel and Jean K. Benjamin, "A New Light on 
Kandinsky's First Abstract Painting", The Burlington Magazine, 
vol. CXIX, Nov. 1977, pp. 772-773 

Hans K. Roethel, Kandinsky, Paris, 1977 

Paul Vogt, Der Blaue Reiter, Cologne, 1977 

Rosel Gollek, Wassily Kandinsky: Friihe Landschaften, 
Munich, 1978 

Hans. K. Roethel in collaboration with Jean K. Benjamin, 
Kandinsky, New York, 1979 

Peg Weiss, Kandinsky in Munich: The Formative jugendstil 
Years, Princeton, 1979 

Kandinsky: Trente Peintures des Musees Sovietiques, Paris, 
Centre Georges Pompidou, Musee National d'Art Moderne, 
1979, exh. cat. 

John E. Bowlt and Rose-Carol Washton Long, eds., The Life of 
Vasilii Kandinsky in Russian Art: A Study of "On the Spiritual in 
Art", Newtonville, Mass., 1980 

Jelena Hahl-Koch, ed., Arnold Schonberg- Wassily Kandinsky: 
Briefe, Bilder und Dokumente einer aussergewohnlichen 
Begegnung, Vienna, 1980 



119 



Rose-Carol Washton Long, Kandinsky: The Development of an 
Abstract Style, New York, 1980 

Kandinsky Watercolors: A Selection from The Solomon R. 
Guggenheim Museum and The Hilla von Rebay Foundation, 
New York, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 1980, 
exh. cat. Essays by Vivian Endicott Barnett and Louise 
Averill Svendsen 



120